Homeland Security and Emergency Management

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Personal Preparedness

Some people with disabilities have come to believe that they need to play little, if any, role in planning for their own survival and well-being in an emergency situation. They believe that others – family, caregivers or agencies will always be there to give assistance when needed. Unfortunately, the reality is that emergency situations are unpredictable and normal help or assistance may not always be readily available when needed.
However, with a just a little planning and by making a few simple preparations, in most emergency situations, people with access or functional needs can go a long way toward helping keep themselves safe and secure for an extended period until assistance is available.
The Minnesota State Council on Disabilities (MSCOD), in collaboration with HSEM, has produced a guide book on Emergency Preparedness: A Guide for People with Disabilities which can be downloaded
Listed below are additional resources, links, fact sheets, and information from authoritative sources on how people with disabilities and functional needs can get prepared and be ready for any emergency.

Additional Tools and Resources


    The Autism Help App for Emergencies innovatively uses a proven 5-point, color-coded scale and can be customized to the specific situation of an individual or family.
  • View “Ready in 3: Three Steps to Prepare for an Emergency” , a video developed in Missouri and presented in American Sign Language.  Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services has added captioning and voice over.  It is best viewed with family members and/or neighbors who may assist in a disaster.



  • Continuity of Operations Planning”  : This is the video produced by the City of Minneapolis in 2012 in two versions; one with closed captioning and another that is audio described. The video was developed and produced to assist local community-based agencies in developing continuity of operations plans for continuing their services to people with disabilities after a disaster.

  • "Emergency Preparedness FAQs”  : People with disabilities have asked many questions about how they should prepare for emergencies. The staff at MSCOD provide very complete and thorough answers here.
 American Red Cross  
  • CEPIN is a project of Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI) to develop disaster-ready training for all special needs populations and emergency managers. The project is funded by grants from FEMA. 
  • Watch the multi-part video “Emergency Preparedness: Together We Prepare” in individual segments--making a plan and disaster supplies kit, evacuating, sheltering in place and going to a shelter--or view it altogether.