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Special Needs/At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations


Preparing for, responding to, and recovering from an emergency or disaster is difficult for everyone. For people who face extra challenges and barriers to daily living, an emergency, act of terrorism, or disaster can quickly become overwhelming. Every community is made up of diverse groups of residents whose needs can increase tremendously during large-scale emergency or disaster events.



TIPS coverT.I.P.S. for Vulnerable Populations

"T.I.P.S. (Transportation, Information, Personal Emergency Plan, Shelters) for Vulnerable Populations" is a quick-reference flip book, developed by the Clayton County Board of Health, to help ensure the safety of Clayton County's most vulnerable residents by providing valuable information and easy-to-read emergency preparedness planning guides. Click here to download your copy of "T.I.P.S. for Vulnerable Populations."

"T.I.P.S." Now Offered in Several Languages

The valuable information provided in our T.I.P.S. flipbook is now available in Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese. Please share this information with anyone in your life with limited English proficiency. It could help save their life in the case of an emergency or disaster.

Spanish language version

Korean language version

Vietnamese language version

English language version

Who is particularly vulnerable during a natural or manmade disaster?


In disaster preparedness and response, the terms "vulnerable" or "special needs" populations are used to characterize groups whose needs are not fully addressed by traditional service providers. For our purposes, "vulnerable populations" are people who feel they cannot comfortably or safely access and use the standard resources offered in disaster preparedness, relief and recovery. They include, but are not limited to persons who are: Physically or mentally disabled; blind, deaf, or hard of hearing; living with cognitive disorders or mobility limitations; limited or non-English speakers; geographically/culturally isolated; or medically/chemically dependent.

What can you do as a vulnerable person to prepare?

Senior at laptop

If you consider yourself to be vulnerable, start by discussing what your specific needs would be in the case of an emergency or disaster with your family, friends, personal care attendant, or anyone else in your support network and prepare an emergency plan.


Post the plan where everyone will see it, keep a copy with you, and make sure everyone involved in your plan has a copy. Take into account what you would do if: Basic services such as water, gas, electricity, and telephones were cut; a disaster confined you to your home; or if a disaster forced you to evacuate your neighborhood. YOU ARE IN THE BEST POSITION TO PLAN FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY!


Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away. During a disaster, businesses, community groups, and civic organizations working with vulnerable populations can help us reach those sectors of the public by participating in our Vulnerable Populations Program.

Examples of groups that can help us contact vulnerable peoples during an emergency include, but are not limited to:

When an emergency happens, we will contact you with important health information, such as where to receive medical care or life-saving vaccines. We will then ask you to disseminate that information to your key audiences through posters, telephone calls, e-mails, social media, translation services, home visits, or any other viable means of communication. The goal is to save the lives of as many people as possible, despite their individual circumstances.

To participate in our Vulnerable Populations Program and be a hero in your own community, please contact Doug Dugger at (678) 610-7467 or freddie.dugger@dph.ga.gov.

Georgians with Access and Functional Needs - Making a plan that fits your needs ensures everyone can be ready for emergencies before they happen. The video below provides emergency preparedness instructions in sign language for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing:


SAFE AND WELL - The American Red Cross Disaster Victim Registry

After a disaster, letting your family and friends know that you are safe and well can bring your loved ones great peace of mind. This website is designed to help make that communication easier: www.safeandwell.org   


disABILITY LINK is a grassroots organization led by people with disabilities. It is designed to increase independence, access and equal rights for all through the empowerment of people with disabilities. As a Center for Independent Living (CIL), disABILITY LINK offers four core services: Information and referrals; Independent Living (IL) skills training; advocacy; and individual peer support. The organization also offers employment services, Independent Care Waiver Program service coordination, nursing home transition services, and travel training.  Click here for more information.





Are you prepared if a disaster strikes? Many people stock up on water, bread, and canned goods, but forget about their medicine and prescription drugs. Rx Response has developed Rx on the Run, an online  tool that enables you to print a personalized medication wallet card that documents your prescriptions, dosages, and other important medical information.


Rx Meds Card


American Association of the Deaf-Blind - Building an Emergency Kit:


American Red Cross - Persons with Disabilities:


Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness (204 pages):


Cerebral Palsy Group: On line resource for anyone who has been affected by cerebal palsy, birth injuries, or brain injuires.


Disability Preparedness.gov (Personal Preparedness Planning):


Emergency Preparedness for Families of Children with Special Needs (14 pages):


Georgia's Emergency Preparedness:

"For Individuals with Disabilities and Elderly Persons" (brochure) 

Healthy Roads Media - Emergency Preparedness resources in more than a dozen languages:


Helping Children Cope with Violence and Disasters (20 pages):


Listo.gov - Spanish Language Emergency Preparedness Site


National Organization On Disability:


National Resource Center on Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Culturally Diverse Communities:


Ready America: People with Disabilities and Other Access and Functional Needs:

ENGLISH - www.ready.gov/america/getakit/disabled.html

SPANISH - www.listo.gov/america/getakit/disabled.html



    Clayton County Board of Health

Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response

  1 Crown Center 1895 Phoenix Blvd, Suite 400 College Park, GA 30349

Phone: (678) 610-7467  Fax: (770) 603-4874

      E-Mail: freddie.dugger@dph.ga.gov