DP2 Logo


Recommendations on making emergency shelters more accessible:

  • Some cots should be available that are high enough for mobility impaired people to use comfortably and safely.

  • Be prepared to provide extra food and water to disabled people with service guide animals.

  • In neighborhoods where familiar landmarks are altered or missing due to an earthquake, some visually impaired people may need personal assistance to travel about.

  • Some people are non-vocal but still capable of thinking and making their needs known. Shelter staff need to be aware, patient and creative.

  • Avoid using outdoor areas that are muddy, sandy, or covered by thick grass.

  • Shelter personnel should know how to use the California Relay Service to make and receive phone calls with hearing and speech impaired individuals.

  • Permit people with mobility impairments the option of going to the head of long lines.

  • Train staff to realize that some people have the physical ability to ride buses, but do not have the cognitive ability to learn new routes established because of a disaster.

  • Train staff to know how to contact disability agencies, such as sign interpreter agencies and agencies that help families with at-risk infants with disabilities.

  • Train staff to realize that some service animals may temporarily not be able to provide their owners with service as fully effective as before the disaster.

  • Train staff about the difference between the medical model and the independence model of disability. Train staff not to see a disabled person as only a person needing medical services.

  • Shelters should have telephone books for the local area.

  • Shelters should have information about transportation resources and disability service agencies.

  • Disabled people and out-of-area emergency volunteers should not have to vie for hotel accommodations.

  • Portable telephones should be ordered that have volume controls.

  • Public phone stations need power sockets nearby to supply power to portable TDDs used by deaf, hearing impaired, and speech impaired people.

  • Train staff to know that even normal amounts of background noise may prevent a person with a hearing impairment from understanding spoken directions and instructions.

  • Train staff to know that some disabilities may give a person the appearance of intoxication.

  • Train staff to know that some disabilities in certain circumstances leads to disruptive behaviors; and to how to respond appropriately when such behaviors occur.

  • In the early days after a disaster, locations of shelters need to be well publicized so that family and friends can search more effectively for disabled people and vice versa.

  • Stock writing tablets and pencils for hearing impaired people to use.

  • At the accessible entrance to a shelter, have signage providing information about features of the shelter that are less than fully accessible.

  • Insure that the shelter's address is clearly visible from the nearby street.

  • The approach to outdoor toilets is free of stones, rubble, steps, tree roots, mud, and loose sand.

  • Stock simple tools and patch kits for repairing flat tires on wheelchairs.

  • Establish contact with local agencies that supply personal care attendants for people with disabilities.

  • Train staff to realize the large number of hard of hearing people and their needs.

  • All shelters need information boards with notices about announcements that disabled people may not hear or where not present when the announcements were made.

indentDP2 Home Page

Copyright 1998 All Rights Reserved
Website designed by CityCenter Co.