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At the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), we believe in the importance of preparing ahead of time for all types of emergencies. On this webpage, you will find valuable tips and resources to assist with the creation of comprehensive and effective disaster plans.


DDD has an internal Emergency Preparedness Taskforce, which is led by our Emergency Management Specialist, in an effort to help strengthen internal plans, practices and policies. Additionally, DDD provides current emergency preparedness information and resources.

 Our Emergency Management Specialist serves as Chair of the New Jersey Group for Access and Integration Needs in Emergencies and Disasters, which serves as an Advisory Board to the NJ Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) and the NJ Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness on disability-related issues. GAINED is made up of representatives from many prominent disability-related State agencies, service providers, and advocates as well as representatives from NJOEM and FEMA. This helps us to stay on top of the latest issues as well as share and learn from best practices.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) encourages individuals with special needs to sign up at NJ Register Ready ( By registering on the website, NJ residents with disabilities and their families, friends and caregivers get an opportunity to provide information to emergency response agencies so emergency responders can better plan to serve them in a disaster or other emergency. The information collected is kept confidential and secure; it is only used for emergency response and planning.

Experts agree that you should be as prepared as possible to self-sustain or to evacuate during emergencies, just in case first responders cannot get to you quickly. For tips on evacuating or sheltering-in-place, please visit the websites and check out the toolkits we have listed on this site.

Below is a list of websites from government agencies to general resources that pertain to emergency management, many of which offer preparedness tips:




New Jersey Group for Access and Integration Needs in Emergencies and Disasters (NJ GAINED; formerly SNAP):


Department of Human Services Office of Emergency Management:


DHS' Office of Program Integrity & Accountability's - Office of Licensing (Serves as the licensing and regulatory authority of the Department of Human Services):

DHS Division of Mental Health Services

New Jersey Office of Emergency Management:





FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC):




American Red Cross:


Autism New Jersey:


EPI Global (Non-profit promotes the practice of inclusive emergency management):


Progressive Center for Independent Living (Emergency Preparedness Education):





EAD & Associates, LLC (Inclusive Emergency Management Consultants):



DISABILITY 911 Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities:

enableUS (organization that produces accessible educational events for emergency management and disability communities):


The Alianza Emergency Preparedness Project Plus (a program of the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities that addresses disaster readiness needs of persons with disabilities): 


NJCDD Preparedness Training for People with Developmental Disabilities

To provide people with developmental disabilities with a more comprehensive overview, the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities has developed a training to help them prepare for and handle emergencies caused by natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other catastrophic events. Each participant receives a “Go Bag,” which holds items they may need in an emergency.

For more information or to schedule trainings, visit or contact Jane Dunhamn, Training Coordinator for Emergency Preparedness, at 609-292-3745.

Progressive Center for Independent Living

The primary focus of this project is to introduce a broader scope of emergency preparedness and the awareness of resources available, to help people with disabilities (PwD) in planning and dealing with emergencies in the community. This project will allow PwD access to educational supports, programs and services that promote inclusion and independence.

  • EP workshop

EAD & Associates, LLC

This emergency management consultancy provides substantial presentations for all types of engagements, such as conferences, meetings, retreats, and classroom instruction.

Staff also advise, develop, implement, evaluate, and offer recommendations for emergency drills or exercises particularly as they relate to special needs and human service emergency issues.

One popular training workshop is:

Preparedness: It's Your Turn © Readiness Wheels Workshop for Community Members


Intended Audience:
Community members with disabilities, seniors, and/or their families and caregivers or those that directly work with people with disabilities or seniors.


This workshop is designed to bring the preparedness message to community members and to help get individual planning underway. This is done through a combination of presentations and activities all geared towards development of individualized preparedness plans for members of your community.

Utilizing EAD’s unique preparedness tool, the Emergency Readiness Wheel, the workshop facilitator will talk about useful and practical ways to get prepared. The content of the course is geared towards persons with disabilities, seniors, and/or their families and caregivers.

This session has helped to get thousands of people prepared and has been taught in communities throughout the Gulf Coast region and in California. Better prepared individuals mean better prepared communities!

What is offered as part of the package:

2 workshops in a day (a morning and an afternoon session)

Each workshop is up to 3 hours and includes:

  • 90 min - 2 hour preparedness presentation
  • 1 hour “Start Getting Prepared” activities
  • 1 Readiness Wheel per participant (at a discounted price)
  • Class instruction and Emergency Readiness Wheels are available in English and Spanish
  • 15% discount on additional Emergency Readiness Wheels for up to a year after the class
  • Price: $2,700
    (Pricing is based on 30 participants for each session - a total of 60 in the day - and does not include travel related costs for the facilitator.)


NJOEM Classroom Training Courses Related to Disaster Preparedness and Planning for Access and Functional Needs Populations include:

  • "Emergency Planning for Special Needs Populations" (FEMA G-197). (Note:  Course is currently being updated by FEMA)

  • "Business Continuity Planning for Human Service Providers" - NJOEM Course conducted on site, in the classroom –

*For more information or to schedule a training, contact Mary Goepfert, course manager, at or 609-963-6818.


First Aid/CPR/AED for Workplace Responders

Now offering a two-year certification, this course teaches workplace responders and anyone who wants to be prepared to respond to emergencies and provide care until advanced medical care arrives. This course meets OSHA requirements and provides a choice of first aid, CPR, and AED courses. An updated blended learning and a Spanish version is also available.


The University at Albany Center for Public Health Preparedness offers a unique online course called "Special Medical Needs Shelters." The goal of this course is to provide an overview of special medical needs shelters, including opening and closing procedures, triage and admission processes, shelter operations, health and safety issues, and planning considerations.


  • Applying ICS to Health Care Organizations –

  • Section 508 Awareness Course—Section 508 assures that people in the general public who have disabilities have equal access to government information -

TRAIN Internet educational system

The University of Kansas Research and Training Center on Independent Living (RTC/IL) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment are pleased to announce the release of two new and free continuing education courses on the TRAIN Internet educational system (for Kansans, all others 

One of the key concepts of FEMA's "Whole Community" approach to emergency management is to understand and meet the true needs of the entire community.  Continuing education courses can assist and these two new courses are designed for trainers and non-trainers. For trainers, the core curriculum can be used and modified with local information to be taught to local targeted audiences.

The 75-minute course for trainers is Planning for Disaster-Related Risk and Functional Needs of People with Disabilities: Train-The-Trainer (course #1026720).

For persons not planning to ever teach, a one-hour course is available under the following title and course number:  Planning for Disaster-Related Risk and Functional Needs of People with Disabilities (course #1026403).

These courses identify functional needs and seven risk factors associated with disasters and the health and safety of people with disabilities and how to prepare accordingly.

Other courses by RTC/IL staff on KS-TRAIN and TRAIN included a two-hour introductory course titled, Ready, Willing, & Able (course #1020884). It is on disability etiquette, terminology, communication methods and evacuation tips to assist people with physical, sensory or cognitive disabilities. A one-hour course titled, Animal Emergency Preparedness:  How to Keep Your Service Animals and Pets Safe in Natural and Manmade Disasters (course #1025307) is on how to prepare for service animals and pets in the event of a disaster, and what to expect after a disaster.

If additional assistance is needed contact Cat Howland, MA, RTC/IL Project Manager: 785- 864-4095

Individuals with Disabilities in Emergency Preparedness


Executive Order 13347: Annual Report, July 2005, published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, on behalf of the Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities (ICC)

Nobody Left Behind:  Report on Exemplary and Best Practices in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response for People with Disabilities 


Getting Real II: Promising Practices in Inclusive Emergency Management for the Whole Community

Emergency Preparedness for Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs—A Publication of the ANSI Homeland Security Standards Panel

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