Skip Navigation

General Planning Tips

In the United States, the population of people with disabilities 1 is large and diverse. For example, around six million people require some form of assistance to walk. An estimated eight million people have limited vision. About twenty-eight million people in the U.S. suffer hearing loss. Nearly four million people in the U.S. need help with activities of daily living (ADLs). Many of these individuals live with more than one limitation or special need.

When creating emergency plans, remember that what may work for one person may not work for everyone. Plans should address the wide variety of disabilities in a community and include the resources to support these needs. The following general tips may be helpful in facilitating an inclusive process.


1 In the emergency preparedness environment the terms special needs, persons with disabilities, and at-risk populations are used. While these terms have similar meanings, they are not wholly interchangeable. This toolkit addresses special needs populations or at-risk populations, with particular emphasis on persons with disabilities (using whatever term is appropriate in the given context in the Toolkit). back