A report following an interagency seminar on emergency
preparedness for people with disabilities hosted by the
Department of Labor cites a consensus surrounding four
prevailing themes: communication with employees, agency
budget and personnel commitment, flexibility, and practice.
Varied, multiple, and redundant means of emergency
notification and communication are necessary to ensure
that all employees are alerted to an emergency, said the
Participants agreed that senior level management commitment
and support are essential and the successes of agency
emergency preparedness plans are proportional to the
financial and personnel resources devoted to them.
“Emergency preparedness planners need to think creatively
about obtaining and communicating the vital managerial
buy-in,” said the report.
Flexibilities for procedures such as the buddy system should
prepare for the event that a disabled person’s assigned
buddy is unavailable to help, or to ensure that help is
available for those unaware that they would need assistance
during an emergency — and people who have not self-identified.
Practice was advocated because it is an opportunity to
identify and address weaknesses and to rehearse procedures,
and generally reminds employees of the potential for emergency.