Disaster Preparedness and the Deaf Community

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The "Disaster Preparedness and the Deaf Community" guidebook was written by a group of deaf/hard-of-hearing American Red Cross volunteers who had received Community Emergency Response Training (CERT). Its purpose is to encourage and assist deaf/hard-of-hearing community members to prepare for all types of disasters.

The guidebook contains clear, concise instructions that are organized into four sections: 1) Get Informed, 2) Make a Plan, 3) Build a Kit, and 4) Maintain Your Plan & Kit. It highlights preparedness information that may be specifically applicable to deaf/hard-of-hearing individuals, such as a self assessment of abilities and limitations; questions about communication preferences; ways to conduct outreach with neighbors and first responders; discussions of e-mail emergency messaging and reverse 9-1-1; considerations for hearing ear dogs and mechanical hearing aids; the importance of carrying key phrase cards; and a list of potential emergency kit supplies. The booklet also includes photos, room to take notes and add area-specific information, sample checklists, and emergency contact cards. The guide can be easily adapted to fit individual circumstances and can be used within any jurisdiction or community.

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