Hurricane Katrina focused the attention of our nation and Emergency Management agencies on ways to better protect our citizens in times of disaster and evacuation. One sector of the population underserved is people with access and functional needs and disabilities. In times of evacuation, these groups of people have additional challenges when it comes to transportation and sheltering needs.
The Kansas Department of Emergency Management contacted Internet Designs and netEOP, to build a Website, and an on-line registration tool to help Emergency Managers better plan for the integration of those with function needs into the general population during emergencies and disasters.
The system features an on-line form that citizens throughout the state could fill out which details their basic information and functional needs. The system includes tools for facilities to register as well, so that Emergency Managers can match the citizens with the facilities best suited to care for them in times of emergency. The custom database application allows all 105 counties to plan ahead for their individual communities, while allowing for reports to be generated on the fly.
"Taking care of those who have special needs is a community effort," said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the adjutant general and director of Kansas Division of Emergency Management. "Our first responders can do a better job when there is a system of community volunteers to assist them and facilities with the ability to receive people who have special needs."