IAEM and NYU Team up to Assess DAFN Planning Nationally
By Anne-Marie McLaughlin, CEM, MEP, CBCP, CBCI
Director of Emergency Management and Continuity
New York University
How are we doing as Emergency Managers when it comes to inclusive planning? Are we engaging with people with disabilities, access, or functional needs in a collaborative way to ensure that our plans are comprehensive and inclusive?
Researchers from NYU’s School of Global Public Health and members of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Accessibility and Whole Community Inclusion Caucus have teamed up to find out.
Initially, the project started out small with a request from Anne-Marie McLaughlin, the Caucus Chair for an NYU intern to help out with a survey. It was a simple idea: the Caucus will ask Emergency Managers, disabilities advocates, and people with disabilities the same set of questions to see if there are gaps nationally—with the understanding that some people may fall into all three categories. The basic idea was to identify both best practices and areas where more resources are needed.
When Dr. Robyn Gershon from the NYU School of Global Public Health saw the concept, she wanted to get involved.
The result? A formal research study conducted according to rigorous academic best practices to produce reliable data that will determine areas of excellence as well as gaps in inclusive planning nationwide. The survey uses a series of simple questions covering CMIST categories: Communication, Maintaining Health, Independence, Support, and Transportation. Caucus Vice-Chair Sadie Martinez advised the use of CMIST categories as these are the most critical areas when it comes to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.
The survey asks whether local emergency management effectively meets the needs of people with disabilities, whether emergency alerts are accessible, whether transportation used for evacuation is accessible, whether shelters accommodate the needs of people with disabilities and other access or functional needs. The survey also asks about planning resources available to both emergency managers and to people with disabilities and disabilities advocates.
The survey will allow researchers to pinpoint both geographic and topic areas where planning is robust and inclusive. For those areas, there will be congruence between the responses of planners and members of the community. In other areas or for certain topics, there may be gaps. For example, emergency planners may suggest that there is sufficient planning in place, but community members may differ. Emergency managers may identify areas where insufficient guidance is preventing progress. In order to obtain clear results, it is important to obtain sufficient responses.
In addition to taking the survey themselves, emergency managers are encouraged to circulate the link through their EM and disabilities advocacy networks. The survey is intended to be taken by emergency managers, people with disabilities, access or functional needs, and advocates (with the understanding that someone might fall into all three categories).
Anyone willing to forward the link is invited to use this accompanying text:
NYU and the International Association of Emergency Managers are currently recruiting participants (18 years and older) to complete this very brief survey on emergency management and people living with disabilities. The research is being conducted with the leadership of the IAEM and disability and emergency management researchers from NYU, School of Global Public Health. This study is completely confidential and has been reviewed and approved for exemption by the NYU Human Subjects Protection office. For any questions or comments please reach out to Mentalla Abbas at firstname.lastname@example.org