UMMS Shriver Center Emergency Preparedness and Response Initiative

 Firefighter checking woman for radiation exposure during emergency drill
Radiation exposure check during emergency drill



By the very nature of their challenges, people with disabilities may be less likely to adopt effective risk mitigation strategies in advance, evacuate, or respond to emergency instructions, access a public shelter, shelter in place at home, or communicate with emergency responders.  During emergencies and disasters they are often left without options and have to make do without personal care, social services and other supports. Too often people with disabilities have been excluded from emergency plans and the planning process.

Since 2005, the University of Massachusetts Medical School Shriver Center has worked to address the emergency preparedness needs of children and adults with disabilities and special health care issues, fostering development of individual, family and organizational preparedness knowledge, skills, and resilience.





 Shriver employee plays role of "victim" going through decontamination tent during emergency drill
Shriver employee plays "victim" going through decontamination during emergency drill


Current Emergency Preparedness and Response Projects and Activities

Getting Ready for Emergencies: Self-Advocate Peer Workshop

Emergency and Disaster Training: Graduate LEND Fellows

Emergency Preparedness Training for Parents of Children with Disabilities

Emergency and Disaster Drill and Exercise Consultation

Online Training for Health Care First Responders and First Receivers

Active Planning for Mass Care Sheltering and Evacuation of People with Disabilities Project

Emergency Smarts Mini Conference



Emergency Preparedness & Response Resources

Resources for Adults with Disabilities and Special Health Care Needs portable document format icon, 30 kb

Resources for Children with Disabilities and Special Health Care Needs and Their Families

Systems Change and Capacity Building

2012 National Preparedness Month blog entries



For more information about the Emergency Preparedness Initiative contact Sue Wolf-Fordham,  (781-642-0275) or