Skip Navigation

Shelter-in-Place - Supervision

Many people need supervision for their daily needs. These people may have Alzheimer's disease, psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia or depression, and mental disabilities. Children and the elderly may also need help. This help often comes from family members or paid caregivers. An event that requires sheltering-in-place may separate people from the care they need. Therefore, plans should outline ways to find emergency support well before an event occurs.


Partner with service groups. There may be local groups for people who need caregiver supervision. Planners should connect with these groups. Planners should think about how a group's services could help the planning process.

Mobilize local support. Community groups may be able to help set up support networks and mobilize volunteers. In some events, emergency workers may be able to reach those with disabilities by using PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). If so, volunteers could assist people who have lost their caregivers. Determine where the needs of a community are ahead of time. Knowing what is needed where will help prioritize limited resources.

Ask the community to be prepared. Being prepared is very important for events involving sheltering-in-place. Planners should ask community members to:

Case Study: In 1997, New York City held an urban terrorism drill called the Interagency Chemical Exercise (I.C.E.).The drill included disability issues to give first responders a realistic situation. The goal was to teach response agencies how to improve plans. The drill showed that there was no way to identify victims. If people who need supervision are not identified, it will be hard to notify next of kin or care providers. This could delay important decisions like medical care and transport.

Lesson Learned:Although this exercise did not involve a shelter-in-place emergency, it demonstrated the need for planners to develop a system to quickly identify and track victims. This type of system might also be useful in reaching those who need supervision in their place of shelter.

Back to Top



Planners need to remember that many people with supervision needs may be uncomfortable with emergencies. Changes in routine may cause stress and confusion. Planners should find ways to limit this as much as possible.

Include caregivers in plans. Communications plan should include caregivers. They will be able to help respond to instructions on how to shelter in place.

Have volunteers to help sheltering-in-place. Planners can consider sending out volunteers to help people with disabilities. Planners should work with community groups for this task.

Back to Top


People who have sheltered-in-place with their caregivers may have an easier time with the recovery process. Planners should find ways to support those who do not have support. Planners should also plan to provide mental health support.

Provide assistance with supervision needs. Planners should find ways to connect an individual with someone that can help. This is crucial for someone has lost their care support. Planners should work with care facilities, churches, charitable organizations, and other community groups for support. Plans might include sending volunteers or health professionals to residences after the event.

Provide mental health support. Planners should offer access to mental health support after an event. The extra stress of an event and a change in routine may worsen a person's condition. Planners should look for ways to provide long-term crisis counseling programs. These programs will be important for people with chronic mental health needs.

Back to Top



Draft After Action Reports. After an event, planners may draft after action reports (AAR). The AAR may include information on what support people required and if needs were sufficiently met during the disaster. The report may also include lessons learned to revise and improve plans. If the plan did not offer adequate supervision for people, consider ways to improve the plan. The report should include feedback from caregivers and people with supervision needs.

Back to Top


Additional Resources

Back to Top