Emergency Preparedness Resource Collection
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. This collection has been developed and will be continuously updated to provide resources and support to ID/DD/A community members impacted by emergency situations.
As you explore the Emergency Preparedness collection information in the tabs below, you will find topics such as:
- Ways to stay up to date with the most up to date emergency information in Pennsylvania
- How to be prepared for various weather related emergencies
- Lists to help you be prepared for general emergencies
- Important documents to help should you be experiencing an emergency
- Links to important resources from across the state
The Emergency Preparedness collection is continually expanding. Below are some of the resources currently in development. Check back often to see what’s new!
- Planning for special emergency needs
- Preparing to go to a shelter and the intake process upon arrival
- Support for shelter staff to support ID/DD/A visitors
These resources are being developed through a collaboration between ASERT, ODP, DHS and PEMA.
Overview of Disasters
There are many types of disasters that can happen in Pennsylvania. Some of these disasters are natural catastrophes and some disasters are human-caused. Click the button below for an overview of these events in our Types of Disasters That Can Happen in PA resource.
Natural Catastrophes Social Stories
There are a variety of weather-related emergencies that can happen in Pennsylvania. This collection of social stories explains how to be prepared for weather emergencies and what to do if you experience one. This collection covers fire, snow and ice, flooding, and thunder and lightning emergencies, but keep checking back for new resources! Click the button below to see the current collection.
PEMA (Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency) created complete guide on types of emergencies and how to prepare for them. Download the Pennsylvania Emergency Preparedness Guide available through the link below.
What to do During a Natural Disaster
During a natural disaster, you may be able to stay in your home. If you are at home during a natural disaster, click the button below for a guide with tips on what to do and ways to stay safe.
Sometimes during a natural disaster, you are not able to stay in your home or it is not safe to stay there. If you have to leave your home during a natural disaster, click the button below for a guide about evacuations and how to evacuate safely.
Making an Emergency Plan Social Story
It is helpful to have a plan in case of emergencies. Emergency situations may be less stressful if you have your plan ahead of time and practice it. To view our social story on making an emergency plan, click the button below.
Public Health Emergency Contact Information
During an emergency situation, it is helpful to have contact information for organizations who may be able to help you. Click the button below for our Public Health Emergency Contacts card. This card will also print out in a small size that will fit in most wallets, so you can keep it with you for whenever you need it.
Volunteering is a great way to support your community. You can volunteer during an emergency or any time. Helping your community in any way can help support people in need.
The links below have more information about volunteering and volunteer opportunities.
What to do After an Emergency
After an emergency has happened, it is possible that a situation is still dangerous. For tips about things you should and should not do after an emergency, click the button below.
After you experience a disaster or emergency situation, you will eventually want to try to return you life back to the way it was before the disaster. The link below from PEMA (Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency) has information about how recover and rebuild, disaster assistance, and other helpful resources.
All About Me Forms
If a self-advocate is being supported by shelter staff, an emergency first responder, volunteer or another person unfamiliar with the self-advocate, the All About Me Form is a helpful tool for whoever is offering support. The form includes information including name, communication preferences, likes, dislikes and important contact information relevant to the individual. If a self-advocate has this completed form prepared ahead of time, this can help to expedite and provide more effective support for them.
Click the buttons below to access the forms.
Disaster Supply Kit
If you experience an emergency situation or natural disaster, it is helpful to have certain items handy. If you set these items aside ahead of time, it can be one less thing you have to do during an emergency. Click the button below for a list of suggested items for a disaster supply kit.
Click the button below for a map of all counties in Pennsylvania. Click on your county for a list of assistance resources available to you.
One of the biggest risk factors for human trafficking is a lack of permanent housing or homelessness. Someone may find themselves in a situation like this because of an emergency such as fire or flood. In addition, having an intellectual disability or autism puts individuals at greater risk of being trafficked. So when an in individual in the ID/A community finds themselves without a home, they can be at particular risk of victimization. To help provide information and prevention and intervention strategies, our Human Trafficking Resource Collection was developed. To visit the full collection, click the button below.