The challenges faced during emergencies and disasters by individuals with special needs must be addressed in every phase of emergency preparedness. Since emergency preparedness begins at the local level with planners who best know the needs and resources of their communities, information is provided here to assist and support the efforts of local jurisdictions in emergency planning for vulnerable populations.

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Emergency Preparedness for Vulnerable Populations, Best Practices Compilation

This compilation focuses on and provides specifics for a functional approach to emergency planning for vulnerable populations. The information in this document has been compiled from a wide variety of public, private, and advocacy organization web sites and documents. Information has also been gathered from both "best practices" and "lessons learned" testimony, articles and documents.

Registry Overview and Planning Considerations

This document provides an overview of how registries for vulnerable populations are being developed and utilized in a variety of jurisdictions. Planning considerations based on best practices are included. These considerations are drawn from the efforts of many state and local jurisdictions to develop registries for special needs populations. A resource listing is also included.

Special Needs Shelter Overview and Planning Considerations

This document provides an overview of shelters for special needs populations in various jurisdictions. As with registries, significant variability exists in the purpose, design and operation of special needs shelters. A resource listing and planning considerations based on best practices are included.

Pandemic Influenza Planning Information

The Arizona Department of Health Services has prepared information on pandemic influenza for both local planning entities and the general public. Included in the information are pandemic preparedness checklists and the 2008 Arizona Pandemic Influenza Operational Plan.

Also available is the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) document: "At-Risk Populations and Pandemic Influenza: Planning Guidance for State, Territorial, Tribal, and Local Health Departments".

Arizona County Models for Special Needs Shelters

Special needs shelters provide a location during an evacuation to house the elderly and people with disabilities that require limited medical or nursing oversight. These special needs individuals require more medical resources and individual care than can be provided in a general shelter operated by the Red Cross or other volunteer organizations. A resource listing of model special needs shelter plans developed by Arizona counties is included. The shelter models include information about roles and responsibilities, triage, operations, staffing, and patient care.

Arizona County Models for Special Needs Registries

Special needs registries are databases that contain information about individuals with special needs who may require assistance in the event of an emergency. The registries allow emergency personnel to identify and locate individuals who require medical attention or special assistance during an evacuation. Participation in a special needs registry is voluntary. A resource listing of special needs registration models developed by Arizona counties is included. The models include registration forms.

Arizona Best Practice for Special Needs/Medical Shelters/Registries/Transportation

Arizona counties have developed plans for shelters, registries, and transportation to assist special needs populations during an emergency or disaster. This matrix document includes information about the registry, transportation, and shelter plans for each Arizona county. The resource also includes contact information from each county for emergency preparedness and county health.

Vulnerable Populations Facility Locator

The Vulnerable Populations Facility Locator provides a listing of facility databases that house vulnerable populations. This information can be useful in planning for or responding to emergencies.

Additional Planning Resources

Federal and Arizona planning information is available through the Department of Homeland Security, and the Arizona Division of Emergency Management.