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  • We recently read this article in DisabilityScoop regarding emergency plans for individuals with disabilities. The article states that “Just 20 percent of the world’s people with disabilities could evacuate immediately without difficulty in the event of a disaster…some 6 percent said they would not be able to escape at all while the remainder indicated they could evacuate with varying degrees of difficulty.” These statistics prompted us to look at what NCI data show about emergency planning.

    NCI family surveys, which include the Adult Family Survey (AFS), the Child Family Survey (CFS) and the Family/Guardian Survey (FGS), are mail-out surveys filled out by family members of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (ID/DD). Respondents to the AFS have an adult (18+) individual with ID/DD living in the family home. Respondents to the CFS have a child with ID/DD (<=age 22) living in the family home. The FGS is given to respondents with an adult (18+) with ID/DD that lives outside the family home. All three of these surveys include a question worded as follows: “Did you discuss how to handle emergencies related to your family member at the last service planning meeting?” Although this question does not assess whether the individual with ID/DD has an emergency plan, we decided to take a look at these data to see what they show about discussion of emergency planning for the family members with ID/DD of the respondents to the family surveys. We examined data from the 2011-12 survey cycle. The percentages shown are the percentages of the total sample; those who responded “don’t know,” “not applicable” and those who left the relevant questions blank are included in the denominator. 

    As can be seen in the table below, for each survey between 50%-60% had discussed the handling of emergencies at the last planning meeting.

    Discussed handling of emergencies   at last planning meeting

    AFS (N=5,567)

    55.7%

    CFS (N=1,188)

    54.4%

    FGS (N=3,530)

    59.5%

    Respondents to the AFS and CFS all have a family member with ID/DD living in the family home. However, respondents to the FGS all have an adult family member living outside the family home. We thought it would be interesting to look at the rates at which FGS respondents reported discussing emergency planning by the place of residence of the individual with ID/DD.

    The findings are presented in the table below.

    Discussed how to handle emergencies   at last planning meeting

     

    Where family member lives

    Specialized ID facility (N=562)

    Group home (N=1571)

    Agency-owned apartment (N=191)

    Independent home/apt (N=574)

    Adult foster care/host family home (N=274)

    Nursing home (N=19)

    Other (N=131)

    Yes

    62%

    62%

    55%

    62%

    64%

    58%

    60%

     

    As can be seen, the rates at which respondents reported having discussed the handling of emergencies at the last planning meeting for their family member with ID/DD range from 55% (of individuals with ID/DD who live in agency-owned apartments) to 64% (for individuals with ID/DD who live in adult foster care/host family homes). 

    As previously stated, these data do not indicate whether emergency planning has actually taken place, it merely shows whether emergency planning was discussed at the last planning meeting. These data do not indicate whether the individual with ID/DD him/herself is aware of the emergency plans. However, states may use these data to inform emergency planning procedures and protocols.