The Accessible Preparedness banner is an image of a group of people with different disability icons over the words Accessible Preparedness "Not a one size fits all approach". A briefcase to the right of the words is open with symbols of preparedness tools floating out and above the group of people.


The Monroe County Department of Public Health, Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP) has teamed up with the Center for Disability Rights and RIT to develop the Accessible Preparedness Project.

This project is designed to provide specific individual preparedness training to everyone. We focus on how to prepare for your own specific needs and customize your plan and kit to best suit your lifestyle. 

The world is filled with disasters and emergencies that disrupt our lives and can result in a devastating loss of property, injury, and loss of life. The basic need for everyone, is a sense of security and a stable environment. Without being prepared for an emergency, people are at a high risk of being affected by disasters. Through preparedness training, building emergency plans, and stocking up on emergency items, everyone can build up their personal foundation to increase their odds of survival during some of the worst emergency conditions. 

An image of a flooded street with water reaching halfway up houses and a traffic light with the yellow light lit up. What should we prepare for?‚Äč

  • Communicable disease outbreak (hepatitis A, measles, H1N1 influenza)
  • Natural disaster (severe weather resulting in power outages)
  • Bioterrorism incident (anthrax, plague, smallpox)
  • Radiological disaster (dirty bomb, nuclear power plant accident)

An image of three fire fighters pushing a car in a foot of snow during a snowstorm. How can we accomplish this?

  • Developing emergency plans 
  • Developing collaborative partnerships with friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and local organizations
  • Stockpiling emergency supplies
  • Practicing your emergency plans and updating them on a regular basis
  • Learning new information, continuously training, and staying informed of current events 

The Office of Public Health Preparedness utilizes the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) Planning Cycle to plan, design, execute, evaluate, and improve Public Health emergency plans. You can adopt this method on a smaller scale to plan, train, exercise, evaluate, and improve your own emergency plans.

An image of the HSEEP Cycle. The word "HSEEP" is in the middle with a small circle around it with the top half saying program management and the bottom half saying project management. A larger circle is around the small circle with five sections. Two are on the top and three are on the bottom. The two top ones from left to right are Improvement Planning and Strategy Planning.  The bottom ones from right to left following the clockwise pattern of the arrows in the circle are "Design and Development", "Conduct", and "Evaluation". Around this large circle, there are text boxes filled with color relating to each of the five mentioned areas on the circle. Linked to Improvement Planning there are four items: Implement Improvements / Corrective Actions, Track Improvements / Corrective Actions, Conduct Annual Improvement Planning Workshop, and Update Preparedness Assessments. Linked to Strategy Planning, there are four items: Update Preparedness Assessments, Develop Preparedness Strategy, Identify Program Resources / Funding, and Conduct Annual Training and Exercise Planning Workshop. Linked with Design and Development there are four items: Secure Project Funding, Conduct Exercise Planning Conferences, Develop Exercise Documentation, and Prepare Support Personnel and Logistical Requirements. Linked to Conduct, there are three items: Conduct Pre-Briefings, Conduct Exercise / Hot Wash / Data Collection, and Conduct Debriefs. Finally, linked with Evaluation, there are four items: Evaluate Exercise, Develop After Action Report, Conduct After Action Conference, and Finalize and Distribute After Action Report / Improvement Plan.
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An aerial view of houses covered in snow and a person shoveling out a path when the snow is taller than them. Making an Emergency Plan

    An emergency can consist of widespread disease outbreaks, an act of terrorism, severe weather disasters, power outages, civil disturbance, toxic gas releases, chemical spills, radiological accidents, explosions, etc.

    Do you have a plan on how to deal with these emergencies and which ones are the most probable in your area? If you answered "no", do not be discouraged, most people do not have a plan, supplies, or any idea of what to do in these situations. Make a decision now to become prepared and more resilient in times of crisis.

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    An image of an emergency kit with preparedness items laid out on a table. Items consist of a flashlight, emergency water, emergency food, a radio, a first aid kit, glow sticks, hand warmers, batteries, a biohazard bag, medical gloves, an N95 respirator, a mylar blanket, alcohol prep wipes, a poncho, and a metal whistle.Building a Preparedness Kit

    There are many ways to build an emergency kit and there are thousands of how-to videos, however, make sure your kit is built for you and your needs. No one is exactly the same and everyone will have different needs. Use the following resources to help you construct your personal emergency supplies. 

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    Practice Your Plan

    There are many ways to prepare yourself for a disaster. Having an emergency plan, emergency kit, and extra supplies at home, work, and in your vehicle are great ways to stay prepared for a disaster. 

    Having these items are a step in the right direction, but without practicing your plans, maintaining your supplies, and exercising your skills, these plans and supplies may not be as efficient and useful when you actually need them. 

    Find out how to effectively practice, maintain, and drill your emergency preparedness so you know what to do in the case of an emergency. 

    Get Trained

    Without proper training, the gear and plans you have may not be effective. Make sure to get training in multiple areas to ensure you are ready for an emergency. We have compiled multiple resources to help guide you in the direction you need to go in order to have adequate training. 

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    An image of a blocked off street with trees and power lines on the road. One worker in a reflective vest is on the road surveying the damage. Preparedness Resources

    No one source has all of the information for you so, we have compiled a list of helpful resources to check out.