Evacuating Populations with Special Needs

  • Source: Federal Highway Administration
  • Date: 04/01/2009

Local and state authorities conduct and serve as the decision makers for evacuation operations.This primer, Evacuating Populations with Special Needs, provides local and state emergency managers, government officials, transpor- tation agencies, and other organizations involved in disaster response with best practices and tools to accommodate people with special needs in an evacuation. Specifically, this document should aid in developing an evacuation plan that includes the coordination of transportation resources to meet the requirements of people with special needs. The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Federal highway Administration (FhWA) has developed the Routes to Effective Evacuation Planning Primer Series1 to address various aspects of emergency transportation and evacuation.This primer focuses on special needs populations who require assistance during a local or multi-jurisdictional emergency evacuation. The primer series, as a whole, captures and catalogues transportation management and operations advancements that can improve evacuation planning and operations. As experience in conducting evacuations increases and the concept of disaster support evolves, these primers may undergo adjustment based on new information, findings, lessons learned, best practices, and tools that local jurisdictions and states use and share. In disaster management, special needs issues are considered a “human” issue. As a result, relevant initiatives have largely been assigned to disaster human services in terms of planning, education and outreach, response, and recovery. however, in recent years, the full integration and incorporation of special needs issues in emergency management is becoming both accepted and implemented on the local, state, and federal levels.

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