Our Bureau of Public Health Emergency Preparedness in partnership with State Emergency Management, Ability360, and independent living advocates joined forces to strengthen disaster readiness for persons with disabilities. The statewide Emergency Preparedness Task Force on Access and Functional Needs held the biannual preparedness summit on June 8 that brought together communities, individuals, and organizations working on innovative approaches to disaster readiness.

The goal of the task force is to ensure all emergency health and safety plans seamlessly integrate and address access and functional needs requirements as a result of whole community planning. We work closely with State Emergency Management and the disability community service providers to engage the community to help update plans and ready durable medical equipment and accessibility resources for emergency shelter operations.

Together with outreach to personal care attendants, emergency planners, the public, healthcare, schools, and organizations – this event registered over 300 participants and the video was streamed live through the internet for the public. Participants such as parents, caregivers, schools/universities, organizations, volunteer, non-profits, municipalities, county, tribal, state, and federal gathered in record numbers for this event.

Featured topics included:

  • Arizona Milestones in Emergency Planning
  • Mass Care Shelter Operations
  • Emergency Displacement
  • Coordinating Medical Insurance
  • Disaster Impacts for Families and Children
  • Emergency Reunification
  • Partner Networking Strategies
  • Disaster Education Expo
  • Emergency Planning Best Practices

By providing an opportunity to “Educate,” “Ask,” and “Inspire,” the Arizona Partners in Preparedness Summit ensures continual process improvements to collectively address planning gaps and ensure partners are provided guidance, tools, methods, and strategies to establish effective access to emergency response and recovery programs, communications, and resources. Conference materials are now available online.