Public Health Preparedness for Special Needs Populations

Incorporating Special Needs Populations into Public Health Preparedness Planning

Public health emergency preparedness planning for special needs populations, such as children and people with disabilities, is critical for public health departments. Those who might need special attention during an emergency are often the most difficult to reach before, during, and after the event.

Experiences from major disasters, such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, showed that emergency preparedness plans were inadequate to address the unique issues of special needs populations, and often these populations are the most negatively affected.

This toolkit is aimed at assisting state and local public health agencies to improve their emergency preparedness activities. It distills the most relevant strategies, practices, and resources from a variety of sources, including peer-reviewed research, government reports, the trade literature, and public health leaders, to identify priority populations and critical strategies.

Special Needs Population Mapping

This online tool has now been retired based on age of data. The tool aimed to help identify the special needs populations in a community of interest, understand the geographic distribution, and determine how to best plan for their needs and target public health response activities.

Funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (HHS ASPR) and was executed by RAND's Center for Public Health Preparedness.

For queries about the tool, please contact