This summer I worked with the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities on a project to catalog emergency preparedness resources regarding people with disabilities. Interestingly, there were no sites devoted to collecting all the pamphlets, articles, reports, checklists on the subject that are publicly available. The BPDD took initative to do so – a great benefit (in my mind) for Wisconsin and the country. Pretty cool.
As the website states: “Emergencies and disasters do not discriminate. Anyone can be affected by natural and man-made hazards. Personal preparedness is important for anyone, but especially for those with special needs and disabilities.” The site lists resources not just for people with disabilities, but also for emergency planners and others who may want to know how best to work with people with disabilities after disasters. There are some interesting materials from healthcare agencies, transportation agencies, and housing authorities. Employers of people with disabilities can also find information in the website.
Personally, I was excited to hear Michael Steinhauer, who started the project, give a radio interview to explain the project. Apparently that shout-out has reached 200,000 people in Wisconsin over the radio. Different disaster networks (such as Natural Hazards Center from the University of Colorado-Boulder) have also passed on the resource. Considering the support at BPDD, disability organizations seem to be excited to work with the resource as well.
So, there is my little pat-on-the-back to myself for a summer well spent! Since the resources can always be expanded, feel free to let me know if a resource is missing or any La Flog readers have ideas on how (easily) to improve the site! Check it out at http://www.wi-bpdd.org.