Institute Events and Trainings
Institute on Disabilities at Temple University

Emergency Preparedness

Create and maintain an Emergency kit.

Create a plan for you and your family/support.

Get, and stay, informed.


What is Emergency Preparedness?

The term "Emergency management planning and preparedness" can cover a wide variety of topics like emergency, risk, disaster, and hazard management as well as civil defense and protection. An "emergency" is defined as an exceptional event that exceeds the capacity of normal resources and organization to cope. All emergencies are by definition dangerous, which means that the potential loss of life is involved. Four levels of emergency can be identified as follows: (Alexander 2002)

  1. Routine Dispatch Problem—the most minor of emergencies, involving first responders;
  2. Incident—any emergency a jurisdiction can handle without needing to call in outside help;
  3. Disaster—also called a catastrophe, an incident involving substantial destruction and mass casualty;
  4. National (or International) Disaster—a disaster of substantial magnitude and seriousness.

Being prepared for an emergency is crucial for you and your family, in your home, in your place of business or your school and throughout your community.

Experts, including the American Red Cross, say that being prepared for an emergency takes planning, foresight, cooperation, and diligence. They say, "Get a Kit. Make a Plan. Be Informed."

For people with disabilities, proper planning could be lifesaving. It is essential for people with disabilities, their families and support system prepare carefully based on their unique needs.

For specific information on how to prepare, go to the Resources.

Emergency Preparedness—The mission of the Institute on Disabilities

Watch a recorded webinar for first responders on how to communicate with people with disabilities: "Encountering People with Disabilities in Emergency Situations" recorded on August 21, 2013. Presented by Jamie Arasz Prioli, RESNA ATP, Assistive Technology Specialist Reused and Exchanged Equipment Partnership Coordinator (REEP), Institute on Disabilities.

The mission of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University with regard to Emergency Preparedness:

To develop and execute research, create programs, disseminate information, and deliver services and training to, with and for people with disabilities about emergency preparedness in the home, work, and community.

The Institute's Emergency Preparedness program will reach out to and, collaborate with, local communities, the city of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as well as national organizations to provide information and services to make an impact on the safety and well-being of individuals with disabilities, families and support system.

(Adobe Reader is required for PDFs - get Adobe reader for PDF get Adobe Reader for PDF)

 Emergency Preparedness Brochure - Download this useful and easy-to-read brochure about Emergency Preparedness for Pennsylvanians:
Download Emergency Preparedness Brochure (printable PDF)

Emergency Preparedness Brochure (accessible text version)

NOTE: If you are a group, agency or any entity that would like to customize the Emergency Preparedness brochure for your area/state, contact us and we will send you the file in the format that you need.
 Download Sample Customizable Emergency Preparedness Brochure (PDF)

Communication Aids in Case of Emergency

The Institute on Disabilities has created and is now offering to the public communication aids to be used by people with communication disabilities and by people who do not speak English during an emergency. Designed for people with disabilities as well as emergency shelter workers and first responders, these aids can be downloaded FREE.

More information about the Emergency Communication 4 ALL Aids.

News and Resources