Individuals with Disabilities, Access & Functional Needs

People with disabilities or access and functional needs must take additional steps when making a plan to be prepared.


  • If you have a vision disability, be prepared to explain to others how to best guide you.
  • If you have a cognitive or emotional disability, be prepared for changes in your environment.
  • If you have a hearing disability, you may, want to write down instructions so that first responders can read what you need. 
Emergency Planning for Special Needs

Plan and Prepare

  • Provide your emergency contacts with a spare key so they can access your building.
  • Inform your contacts where you keep your Emergency Supply Kit.
  • Make copies of important documents, including health information.
  • If you receive home-based care (e.g., home care attendant, home health aide, visiting nurse service), include caregivers in developing your plan and familiarize yourself with your homecare agency's emergency plan.
  • If you have a pet, emotional support or service animal, be alert and plan for his or her needs.
  • Consider your dietary needs and always stock nonperishable food at home in case you have to shelter in place during an emergency.
  • If you take medication, make a list of the medications you take, why you take them, and their dosages. Remember: emergencies can affect your ability to access medications. Don't wait until the last minute to refill your prescription medications.
  • If you take prescription medication, contact your pharmacy to get a refill if you have less than seven days' worth of medication left.
  • If you receive dialysis, chemotherapy, or other life-sustaining treatment, find out whether there is a back-up location so your service is not interrupted.
  • If you or anyone in your home depends on electrically-powered life-sustaining medical equipment (such as a ventilator or cardiac device), receives dialysis or has limited mobility, talk to your doctor or health care provider about how to keep it running during a power outage.
Dial for Life