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Emergency Preparedness

At-risk people or people with special needs may need specific assistance in an emergency. This can be medical care, transportation, maintaining independence for daily living, supervision, or communication.

Persons with special needs or who are at risk in an emergency include:

  • Children
  • Elderly persons
  • Persons from diverse cultural origins
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Individuals with limited English proficiency
  • Persons who live in institutionalized settings
  • Persons who do not have access to transportation

These people may be protected under the law from discrimination in certain emergency situations.

Federal Agencies Issue Joint Guidance to Help Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery Providers Comply with Title VI – August 16, 2016

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Homeland Security and Transportation issued joint guidance to help ensure that recipients of federal financial assistance do not discriminate against individuals and communities on the basis of race, color or nation origin when providing emergency preparedness, response and recovery services.

Read the Guidance

Download the HHS Checklist for Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance

For additional resources, visit the civil rights section of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website at: www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/26070.

HHS Office for Preparedness & Response

Emergency Preparedness Resources

HIPAA & Emergency Preparedness

  • Learn how the HIPAA Privacy Rule applies to the release of protected health information for planning or response
Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on December 14, 2015
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