Who is at Risk During an Emergency? Anyone with increased risk of severe disaster-related consequences –Economic disadvantage –Absence of a support network –Needing support to be independent in daily activities –Difficulty reading, speaking, or understanding English
Esther –89 years old –Lives alone –Has no car, family lives out of state –History of heart diseaseLaura –5 years old –Parents are undocumented immigrantsJames –35 years old –Blind –Lives with fiancée
Hurricane Katrina - 2005 73% of Hurricane Katrina-related deaths in New Orleans area were among persons age 60 and over, although they comprised only 15 percent of the population in New Orleans Most had medical conditions and functional or sensory disabilities that made them more vulnerable AARP, We Can Do Better: Lessons Learned for Protecting Older Persons in Disasters, 2006
Issues Facing At-Risk Groups Maintaining independence CommunicationTransportationSupervision Medical care
Emergency Preparedness Personal Preparedness Organizational Preparedness Community Preparedness County, State, & National Preparedness
Who Needs to be Prepared? You Your family Employees at your organization People served by your organization
Personal Preparedness Think ahead…make an emergency plan –Evacuation from your home –Communication during emergency –Plans for pets Make an emergency kit –Does not need to be complicated or expensive Stay informed –Local emergency plans and services Get involved –Know your neighbors and check on those at-risk –Join Community Emergency Response Teams
Personal Preparedness for At-Risk Individuals Learn basic homecare skills Work with providers and social support networks to develop contingency plans for an emergency Develop food and fluid supply lists for special dietary needs Carry a wallet card with a list of medications Maintain food and supplies for the health and well- being of service animals and pets
Organizational Preparedness Is Your Organization Ready?
Preparing your Organization Make an emergency plan Encourage personal preparedness for employees and clients Determine how to continue services during an emergency
Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) Making sure your organization can continue to operate during an emergency –Under stressful conditions –With fewer staff and other resources –With increased demand for services
COOP Objectives Ensure safety of employees Ensure continuous performance of essential operations Protect essential equipment, records, and other assets Reduce disruption of operations Minimize damage and losses Achieve a timely and orderly recovery
Ensuring Safety Shelter in Place –Safe area –Food and water Evacuation –Go Kits –Transportation –Destination
Continuing Essential Operations Prioritize key functions Identify minimum staff, equipment, and procedures necessary to operate Plan what to do if your building is not available Plan for payroll continuity Train people for emergency functions Create/update contact list
Community & County Preparedness How Can Your Organization Get Involved?
[COUNTY NAME] County Special Needs Advisory Panel (SNAP) A small advisory group of [social service providers] representing various at-risk populations.
SNAP Purpose To ensure that the concerns and needs of [older adults, persons with disabilities, persons who are economically disadvantaged, and/or persons with limited English proficiency] are appropriately considered and addressed in public health emergency planning and response in [COUNTY NAME] County.
SNAP Activities Provide information and guidance to [LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT &/OR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT] about how to plan for and communicate with at-risk populations before, during, and after emergencies Provide feedback on creating a Community Communications Network to share messages with agencies serving at-risk populations
Why get involved? You know the people your organization serves You are in a unique position to advocate for them Planning before an emergency can save lives, reduce illness and injury, and speed recovery Doing something NOW is better than hoping for assistance during an emergency
What are the benefits? You can: Identify strategies that empower at-risk individuals to prepare for emergencies Share ideas and resources with other agencies Reduce duplication of efforts across agencies Influence public policy