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indent COMMUNICATIONS AFTER A DISASTER

The County should either [1] establish an Internet web site or [2] add web pages to an existing web site that will communicate response and recovery information of interest to disabled people after a disaster. The County should publicize the existence of this information resource to the disability community in advance of a disaster and to the entire community immediately after a disaster. The County ADA coordinator should recommend information to appear on the Internet site, encourage disability service organizations to submit pertinent information, and periodically update information prepared in anticipation of a future disaster.


Television stations should

  • understand that excessive broadcast of disaster damage has an adverse impact on some people with disabilities; that footage of disaster damage always needs a geographic context; and that disabled viewers (both inside and outside the disaster area) need more information about specifically what they should do.
  • comply with the FCC rule requiring (since January 1996) that broadcasted disaster information include open captions.
  • voice all broadcast displays of telephone numbers, the names of streets and geographical areas affected, and other displayed information.


Radio and television stations should
  • provide information specifically related to disabled people in general, as well as information pertinent to particular disability groups.
  • clarify whether warnings about not drinking contaminated water also apply to service animals used by disabled people.
  • inquire, before broadcasting announcements about disaster services for senior citizens, if disabled people are also eligible for the services.
  • produce some public service announcements pertinent to people with disabilities in advance of a disaster and periodically review them for continued validity.


Companies that have airborne blimps with message boards should work with the County ADA coordinator in order to publicize major disability information resources and to provide other disability related information as feasible. (This form of communication is effective for people with hearing impairments, and is reassuring for everyone.)

The County Sheriff's Emergency Broadcast System announcements should include brief notices about major sources of disability related information, as well as TDD telephone numbers that can be passed on to hearing impaired persons.

The County Info Line (a telephone information service) should consult with County staff and increase Info Line holdings of information on disability disaster resources, and make greater efforts to publicize the availability of this information in advance of a disaster.

The "People Guide" published by the Interfaith Hunger Coalition immediately after a disaster should include information about the accessibility of food distribution sites and alternative means by which disabled people can obtain food.

Telephone companies should consult with the County ADA coordinator in order to add information about disaster resources, preparedness, and response pertinent to people with disabilities to the white pages of telephone books.

Telephone companies establish an 800-number voice information system for blind and reading impaired people to hear the white pages disaster information; and the system should have an option for listening to response and recovery information following a disaster.

Agencies with information on disaster preparation and response on videos should add captioning for hearing impaired people and audio description for visually impaired people.

The County should urge major distributors of such videos to only market videos with captioning and audio description.



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