Planning for People with Varied Abilities

The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency often depends on the planning and preparation done in advance.  Everyone can take steps to prepare for any kind of emergency like wildfires, floods, earthquakes or pandemic influenza.  You are the best judge of what kinds of help you may need before, during and after a disaster.  By evaluating your own needs and abilities, and making an emergency plan that fits your needs, you can be better prepared.  This brochure outlines easy steps people with varied abilities and their caregivers can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen.  


The Disaster Registry:

The Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) maintains a database of people that need assistance evacuating their homes or sheltering in place, or who need special notification about an emergency due to varying abilities.  The Disaster Registry provides the names and locations of people who need special assistance to fire, police, health and rescue workers to be used during the emergency.    This information is kept secured when not needed for disaster planning or response.  Contact your local Public Health Department or the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) at (541)664-6674 for more information.  Click here to download a copy of the Disaster Registry form

Learn about community hazards:

In Josephine County, our risks include wildfires, floods, severe winter weather, earthquakes and pandemic influenza.  Think about how these hazards may impact you.  How would you cope with a long term power outage?  Would smoky air from a forest fire cause you difficulty breathing?


Create a personal support network:

A personal support network can be made up of friends, relatives, neighbors, coworkers, teachers or other people you trust.  Your personal support network can help you plan for what you will need during a disaster, and can assist you during a disaster.  Members of your personal support network should know your capabilities and needs, and be able to offer assistance within a short time.  You should have a minimum of three people in your network for each place you regularly spend time during the week.  


Make a family disaster plan:

Whether you live by yourself, or with family members, friends or pets it is very important to have a disaster plan.  This plan will include information about how you will communicate with friends, family and coworkers during and after a disaster, how you will decide to stay or evacuate, and so much more.  Refer to the section titled ‘For More Information’ at the end of this brochure for publications that can assist you in preparing your family disaster plan.  


Plan for your pets:

Plan to take your pets with you when you evacuate if at all possible.  Red Cross shelters usually don’t let you bring your pets except service animals.  Make a list of friends, family, coworkers and pet-friendly hotels that you could stay at in an emergency.  Make a list of facilities that could board your pet in case you are not able to stay somewhere with your pet.  Be sure to prepare a go kit for you pet to use if you have to evacuate!


For more information, download one of the following guides:


Download Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs developed by FEMA and the American Red Cross

Download Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities developed by the American Red Cross

You can also visit for general disaster preparedness information

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