Leaving no-one behind during an emergency response requires inclusive preparedness and risk reduction work as well as evacuation measures.
Making sure that evacuation mechanisms are inclusive requires preparation. Simulations or role play exercises where persons without disabilities take the role of persons with disabilities should be avoided. The following actions will ensure a proper preparation for evacuation:
Prior identification of individuals who may need assistance to evacuate, in each community;
Set-up a buddy system during preparedness phase;
Train rescue teams, persons with disabilities and their family and caregivers in order to know how to work with persons with disabilities during an evacuation, using proper communication and attitudes ; make sure they understood the need for persons with disabilities to bring their assistive devices and medication;
Evacuation routes and paths have to be properly designed respecting accessibility measures;
Timely information and accessible early warning systems are crucial;