Emergency Preparedness

Emergency experiences are traumatic for all people, but can present unique challenges for individuals with autism and/or intellectual or developmental disabilities and those who support them.

Quickly processing and responding to change and coping with stress are just some of the components of an emergency that may be particularly difficult for the ID/DD/A community.

To provide support, our Emergency Preparedness collection was developed addressing topics such as:

  • what to have prepared in your home for a weather emergency
  • preparing to go to a shelter and the intake process upon arrival
  • resources for shelter staff to support ID/DD/A visitors
  • potentially risky situations that may occur while staying in emergency shelters and ways to reduce risk of abuse or exploitation

These resources are being developed through a collaboration between ASERT, ODP, DHS and PEMA.

Please check back often as resources are being developed and added on a regular basis!

Human Trafficking

One of the biggest risk factors for human trafficking is a lack of permanent housing or homelessness. Living in a shelter because of an emergency situation such as fire, flood, or other natural disaster puts people at risk of being exploited. Additionally, having an intellectual disability or autism also puts individuals at greater risk of being trafficked. Because of these risk factors, the Office of Developmental Programs, ASERT, Office of Children, Family and Youth, experts in human trafficking, and other statewide agencies have collaborated on resources to bring awareness to human trafficking, prevention, and intervention strategies.

Self-Advocate Resources

Human Trafficking: What you need to know

These resources were designed for individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities to learn about human trafficking. Resources include information on what it is, signs, prevention, and what to do if you suspect human trafficking.

Resources

Human Trafficking Social Stories

This series of social stories provides visual guides on what human trafficking is and how to help prevent it.

Resources

Additional Resources

Check out these additional resources for general information on emergency preparedness and planning:

ReadyPA.gov

Inclusive Preparedess Resources: Red Cross

Ready.gov

FEMA: Office of Disability Integration and Coordination