Emergency Preparedness and Response

Individuals with disabilities deserve appropriate and accessible emergency preparedness measures, including being considered during the planning and outreach phases.

Emergency preparedness refers to the things you do to make sure you’re safe before, during, and after an emergency or natural disaster. Emergency situations, such as natural disasters, freezes, public health emergencies, and power outages, can happen at any time. During an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. To stay safe and healthy, preparing ahead of time is crucial.

Individual Preparedness

It is important for Texans with disabilities to prepare ahead of any form of emergency or disaster. Individuals and families should consider creating an emergency supply kit, a collection of basic items you may need during an emergency., a website created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has a checklist you can use to build your emergency supply kit.

Other Resources

Locate Emergency Supplies and Shelters

Visit Texas Division of Emergency Management website and select your region and county to find local information on where to find potable water, warming centers, and shelters.

Emergency Ready Sheet

Visit DRTx (Disability Rights of Texas) to see a fillable form that helps people with disabilities keep important information in one place in case a disaster or emergency strikes.

Maintaining Healthcare

Find information on what to do to plan for your healthcare needs, including specialized medical services and attendant services during a disaster.

Find Community Resources

Search Texas A&M University’s Directory of Community Resources for People with Disabilities to find resources and organizations by category and location, developed as part of Project REDD (Research and Education on Disability and Disaster).


TPIA is focused on how to work on system readiness in Texas to ensure accessibility, information, and disability informed responses to emergencies.

Past Work

During the COVID-19 pandemic and afterwards, TPIA has discussed various ways to ensure access to direct care.

Successful Communication Tips for People with Disabilities

COVID-19 is challenging to explain, live through, and communicate about. The materials on this page were created to help make communicating about COVID-19 a little easier.

Developed by the Texas Department of State Health Services in partnership with TCDD, these tips can help health care providers develop effective communication with people with DD.

Disability Rights Texas Hotline

Disability Rights Texas provided direct support regarding COVID-19 vaccine questions, appointments, transportation, and more. This included a hotline to schedule in-home vaccinations and other appointment assistance.

Promoting Comfort and Safety During Vaccination Appointments

The University of Houston-Clear Lake, with support from the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD), created training materials to help medical professionals, family members, and community health aides promote cooperation, comfort, and safety for people with developmental disabilities (DD) receiving vaccines or other health care services.


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