We cannot predict when a disaster will occur, but we can prepare. As vocational rehabilitation professionals, it is crucial that our planning to be prepared for disaster supports the unique and varied needs of the disability community, our customers with disabilities, and their caregivers.
Vocational rehabilitation and community agencies can play a critical role in minimizing the impact of disaster on individuals with disabilities and their caregivers by:
- Developing community alliances to lay the groundwork for effective service coordination during a disaster.
- Engaging and communicating appropriately with groups and individuals.
- Validating the concerns and needs of disability communities and individuals.
- Providing information and resources to support disability communities and individuals develop disaster preparedness plans to meet their unique needs and circumstances.
- Being a source of information and support during a disaster.
Informed and thoughtful disaster planning can lead to stronger relationships with disability communities, partnering agencies, and people with disabilities. A thorough disaster plan can minimize the impact of disaster on individuals with disabilities and further their goals for sustained employment and quality of life.
TACQE provides expert technical assistance and consultation to support the efforts of vocational rehabilitation agencies, community service providers, and other stakeholders to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Disaster preparedness is one of the focus areas critical to achieving our goals.
Recommended Resources from TACQE and Partners
Use these resources to learn how disaster preparedness can improve quality employment outcomes for people with disabilities.
- Disaster Preparedness – TACQE U
Learn about the need for community alliances during a disaster and how to coordinate services for individuals with disabilities.
- Community Engagement and Alliances During a Disaster – Enhancing Services in Vocational Rehabilitation Webinar
Build on what you have learned in Disaster Preparedness – TACQE U with this training. Review how to enhance services to the most vulnerable populations while focusing on what needs may be revealed during a disaster and how these needs can be ratified.
- Faith-Based Organizations and African American Community Engagement during COVID-19 – TACQE U
Join this 2-part training! Part 1 describes underlying health conditions for African Americans during disasters, particularly in the era of COVID-19. Part 2 discusses the faith-based organization's role in disaster preparedness.
- Fact Sheet: Community Engagement, Awareness, and Vocational Challenges for African-Americans During Disasters – TACQE
Access quick facts and recommended readings to learn more about disaster preparedness for African Americans.
- Outreach and Engagement of Underserved Populations
Get strategies for effective community engagement and outreach to underserved populations.
- Disability and Health Emergency Preparedness - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Use these resources to create emergency preparedness and response plans that are inclusive of people with disabilities.