Access & Functional Needs

Your ability to recover from an emergency may depend on the planning and preparation you do today. Those with access and functional needs may have a harder time responding to and recovering from an emergency. If you or your loved one has special needs, it could affect how you may react and respond to an emergency.

How might a disaster affect me? What are my personal needs during a disaster? Could I get out of my home or apartment safely? Do I have a personal support system?

Support Network

Regardless of your age, you don't want to go through an emergency alone. We all need someone we can lean on. Consider creating a support network that you can rely on during a disaster. Your support network should:

  • Stay in contact during an emergency.
  • Check on each other immediately after an emergency.
  • Keep spare sets of your keys.
  • Know where your emergency supply kit is kept.
  • Have copies of important documents, such as information about medication and dosage, equipment, and other needs.
  • Learn about your personal needs and how to help you in an emergency.

Remember: Your support network doesn't have to include family members; you can ask friends, neighbors, caregivers, coworkers, and/or members of your community groups, too. By evaluating your own individual needs, establishing a support network , and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared.


Below is a unique brochure with tips and information specific to older Americans on how to prepare for emergency situations.

People with Disabilities

Click on the links below to view information specific to Americans with disabilities and other access and functional needs regarding emergency preparedness.