Tuesday, March 23, 2010

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

The Nobody Left Behind(NLB)study was developed to evaluate the preparedness of emergency management sites and their ability to assist persons with mobility impairments. A portion of the NLB study was designed to determine the exemplary and emerging best practices. Data collected for the study came from telephone surveys of site emergency managers, and through the review of local emergency plans.

Exemplary Practices
Out of the 30 sites surveyed, six were identified as having exemplary practices.These six sites were evenly divided between rural and urban settings. The six sites were determined to have exemplary practices through the cumulative effect of policies and procedures at place in the facilities and their communities.

Exemplary Practices:
1. Administering and maintaining a surveillance system, usually a self-identified registry system of persons needing assistance during a disaster or emergency.
2. Identifying accessible transportation vehicles and guidelines to evacuate persons with disabilities needing assistance.
3. Establishing a so called special medical needs shelter.
4. Conducting training and exercises on evacuation of persons with disabilities.

Emerging Best Practices
Analysis of policies from the 30 surveyed sites determined a number of evolving best practices. The practices were determined through research and recommendations from policy experts, advisors, and consultants. This analysis of policy and practices determined three emerging best practices.

Emerging Best Practices:
1. Comprehensive planning for persons with disabilities in the local emergency management plan.
2. Comprehensive planning tool using surveillance and consumer education.
3. Day to day surveillance and consumer education outreach.

This study attempts to understand best practices for emergency management relating to persons with disabilities. The effects of the study were limited by the size of the surveyed population. Practices may not be effective for feasible in certain situations.


  1. What was the influence behind this study? You mentioned that the study was limited by the size of the surveyed population where did this study take place?

  2. In looking at best practices for disaster preparedness and emergency response for people with disabilities, I would be much more interested in study that looked at professional and commercial settings, rather than using urban and rural as the indicators.