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Tips for Planning a Rapid Emergency COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response for People with Disabilities

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This document is frequently updated. Check for the current version at http://www.jik.com/mrp.html

Note to reader - You can modify this for your use. We request that if you revise or add content, please send a copy to June Kailes at  jik@jik.com so your changes can be considered for inclusion in the frequent updates. Thank You! 

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Preparing for Hospitalization During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Checklist for People with Disabilities Edition 2.1, 2020 NEW  -You should do everything you can to stay out of a hospital, but if you have no choice, these tips help you prepare for what you may face.  It will NOT be business as usual.

ADA Compliance with Visitations in Healthcare Facilities:  Coronavirus Pandemic Guidance for Advocates Edition 2.0, 2020 NEW  -Offers tips for advocating for visitations and working with healthcare facilities and state governments during current pandemic crisis about how to ensure healthcare facilities comply with Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Tips for Planning a Rapid Emergency COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response For:

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Organizations supporting people with disabilities:

ADA Compliance with Visitations in Healthcare Facilities:  Coronavirus Pandemic Guidance for Advocates Edition 1, 2020 NEW  -Offers tips for advocating for visitations and working with healthcare facilities and state governments during current pandemic crisis about how to ensure healthcare facilities comply with Americans with Disabilities Act.

Excerpted from a longer article: Planning Checklist for Rapid Emergency Response for Organizations Serving People with Disabilities Edition 1.4 (2018) Rapid emergency response is in direct alignment with the core services and values of disability-focused organizations that engage in systems advocacy that protects peoples’ civil rights and right to self-determination.  This guidance and checklist are for organizations that support the health, safety, and independence of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. Use it to evaluate critical elements of emergency response and recovery, identify areas needing attention, set priorities, and continue to assess progress.

More Resources -- Organizations Disaster Readiness Resources from North Carolina

      What we hope we never see - in China it was reported that a 17-year-old with Cerebral Palsy died after his father and brother were quarantined, leaving the boy alone and without care. See: “‘He cannot speak or look after himself’: A 17-year-old with cerebral palsy died after being left alone for 6 days while Chinese authorities quarantined his father over coronavirus fears,” 2/4/20 https://www.businessinsider.com/teenager-cerebral-palsy-dies-father-quarantined-suspected-coronavirus-china-2020-2  

Emergency Staffing  [General pandemic planning guidelines suggest  that planning account for one-quarter to one-third of your workforce either being out of work (whether sick, or caring for the sick, or in quarantine or isolation), identify their critical functions (what they need to continue to do), and cross-train staff accordingly.]

Managers create a realistic projection of staff who can work during the emergency. Data  Access
Prepare just-in-time training for use as emergency unfolds, i.e., how to activate the plan and use checklists, etc

Alerts and Warning / Communication of emergency messages

Client Focused Emergency Actions - Assist people served in preparing for emergencies

Identify those who would be the most disproportionally impacted and likely to need assistance because they:

Include these identified individuals on a “check-in list” so that if possible staff will try to check in with them before, during or after an emergency

Offer to assist with the development of personal emergency plans to include:

Life-safety Checks

Community Partnerships, Connecting and Networking

Samples of information you may want to push out include:

Planning for when you have to remain at home due to the virus, isolation, or quarantine:

Plan for and learn how:

Develop plans with service providers who:

Neighbor helping neighbor

Share helpful preventive practice reminders such as:

Follow everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including colds and flu (most of these actions have no cost, those that involve costs have a *).

If you are ill:


CDC's COVID-19 web page includes a number of resources, including specific guidance for:

·                     Travelers


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COVID-19 Preparedness for Personal Assistant Services Users:

Excepted from: Emergency Preparedness for Personal Assistant Services (PAS) Users, Edition 2.0, (2016) contains tips specific to individuals who use personal assistants, attendants, or caregivers. Planning elements include a checklist, support teams, communication, evacuating and sheltering, supplies, and resources that provide more ‘how-to” details. WORD

Have a support team in place: A support team made up of people willing to help each other in an emergency. These people include your PAs and others at places where you spend time, like your home, workplace, or school. If you create a large team, you are more likely to get help when you need it.

A support team can include your neighbors. Building relationships with neighbors can help when PA(s) aren’t there. Knowing your neighbors can be a strong security blanket. Before emergency responders reach you, the people who will make the difference can be those who live near you. Make sure you discuss with one another what each person can do in an emergency to help one another. You should also keep a list of your neighbor emergency contact information in your cell phone and your emergency kits (discussed in more detail below).

Talk to your friends and neighbors about how you can help each other if people in your households get sick or if your children aren’t able to go to school or childcare. Can you drop groceries off on their doorstep?

Plan for how you will communicate with my PA(s) and support team in an emergency via:        

o   Landline phone

o   Cell phone

o   Email

o   Social network

o   Text message

o   Other devices (e.g., a pager, two-way radio, ham radio, personal emergency call response system, other: _________)

Emergency Neighbor Contact List or Out-of-town emergency contacts listed in priority order (first person reached calls others on this list) (2015)

Tips for Emergency Use of Mobile Devices Cell phones, smart phones and other mobile wireless devices like tablets are a big part of our lives. We rarely leave home without them and we often store important information on them. In a small or large emergency, they can be a communication life-line. Provides details regarding preparing your device to quickly get and give emergency information which includes a checklist, emergency contacts and documents, alerts, texting, apps, bookmarks of important mobile sites, “no service” backup plans, skill drills and other resources

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© 1998 - 2020 June Isaacson Kailes, Disability Policy Consu ltant, All Rights Reserved.
Created 11/8/97  |  Updated   07.19.20