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In emergency preparedness a special population is defined as any individual who may not be able to either receive, understand, or act on emergency information. This includes but may not be limited to individuals with a functional disability such as blindness; individuals who are deaf, blind-deaf, hard of hearing; individuals with cognitive disorders, mobility limitations, a developmental disablity, or mental illness; individuals who may be limited or non-English speaking; individuals who are geographically or culturally isolated, medical or chemical dependant, or homeless, individuals with pets and/or service animals; older persons with disabilities/medical needs, and children.
The Lansing Area Emergency Preparedness for Special Populations Taskforce is working on a variety of projects to make residents with special needs more disaster resilient.
- Assessing and improving dissemination of emergency information.
- Developing planning resources for businesses and individuals.
- Developing procedures for to identify and provide additional assistance to those who need it during a disaster.
Taskforce member agencies: Lansing Emergency Management, Ingham County Emergency Management, Tri-County Office on Aging, the Capital Area Center for Independent Living, Salvation Army, Mid-Michigan Red Cross, St Vincent Catholic Charities/Refugee Services, Michigan Commission on Disability Concerns/Division on Deaf & Hard of Hearing, Visiting Nurse Services of Michigan Hospice, Lansing Human Services and Community Relations, Do1Thing, Capital Area Critical Incident Stress Management Team, and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.