Community Preparedness Workshop for Seniors and People With Disabilities in Dover


Smyrna – Are you prepared for an emergency or disaster?  Disasters can strike suddenly, anytime and anywhere, and first responders may not be able to reach you right away.

If you were unable to attend the Community Preparedness Workshop in Georgetown, a second workshop will be held on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at the Modern Maturity Center in Dover (1121 Forrest Ave, Dover, DE 19904), from 8:30AM – 1:30PM.  The workshop is free and open to the public, but registration is required.  Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to talk with our preparedness partner exhibitors.  Coffee, tea, water, and light refreshments will be available in the morning before the workshop.  Delaware Citizen Corps, the Office of Preparedness, and the Modern Maturity Center (MMC) in Dover are partnering to hold this workshop.

What can you do to help yourself, your family, and your neighbors if an emergency or disaster happens?  The major goal of this workshop is to better equip seniors and people with disabilities with knowledge to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies at home and disasters in their communities.  In 2019 Delaware experienced winter storms, severe storms, power outages, flooding, tornadoes, as well as threats from hurricanes and coastal storms.  Anything can happen to anyone at any time.  Learning about what can happen and how to be prepared is increasingly important.

Speakers will include trainers from the Kent County Department of Public Safety, Office of Preparedness, Delaware Citizen Corps, as well as specialists from the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative (DATI), and Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities/Adult Protective Services. The workshop will feature information and resources for how to make emergency and communications plans, make an emergency kit, and learn about fire safety.

Seating is limited. Registration for this free workshop is required and is online at Eventbrite at To request special needs accommodations for hearing or visual impairments or other needs, please contact Beth MacDonald by Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at

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Contact: Jeff Sands, Delaware Emergency Management Agency, 302-659-2211.

Delaware Libraries, UD Disaster Research Center Present Disaster Planning Summit

DOVER – The Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and the Delaware Division of Libraries are sponsoring an all-day summit “Disaster Recovery for Delaware” on Tuesday, February 28.

The purpose of this statewide summit is to connect library staff with emergency planners to help communities bounce back more quickly following a natural or man-made disaster. The summit will focus on developing partnerships and strategies before an emergency happens. Emergency responders will speak on ways libraries can assist them in mitigation and preparedness, response and recovery. The program will incorporate National Library of Medicine resources, focusing on health and disaster information, to support responders, the community, and library staff. Libraries will learn what it takes to become “second responders,” including options for further partnerships to assist their communities in the event of a disaster.

  • What: Disaster Recovery for Delaware: Exploring Potential Partnerships Among Emergency Planners, First Responders, Librarians and Others
  • Who: Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long; Representatives from the University of Delaware Disaster Research Center, National Network of Libraries, and Delaware Division of Libraries; emergency planners, first responders, librarians, and organizations involved with disaster planning, response, and/or recovery
  • When: 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesday, February 28
    (Contact Cathay Keough at for detailed program schedule)
  • Where: Dover Downs Conference Center, 1131 N. Dupont Highway, Dover DE 19901

DPH Shares ‘Preparedness Buddy’ Brochure To Help Delawareans Prepare For Emergencies

DOVER — Winter weather can bring high winds, snow, ice, and extremely cold temperatures. Responding to those and other potential hazards — such as power outages, fires, floods, and disease outbreaks — is less stressful when emergency plans are in place. This is particularly true for adults and children with disabilities, seniors, and those with temporary or chronic health conditions, language barriers or any other issue that might make mobility difficult in an emergency. That’s why the Division of Public Health (DPH) is encouraging use of the Office of Preparedness’ “Preparedness Buddy Brochure.”

This downloadable and printable brochure is a great tool that asks people with access and functional need to identify a Preparedness Buddy to help them prepare to manage through emergencies. It provides these individuals, as well as their support network or “buddy,” with a step-by-step template for developing a personal emergency plan in the event of situations where they may need to evacuate their homes or shelter in place.

The Preparedness Buddy brochure can be found online at in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole. DPH recommends printing the brochure, filling in such important information as medications you are taking, food and drug allergies, medical supplies and equipment, medical and personal caregivers or disability service providers, primary care physician, communication and mobility challenges, and your specific transportation needs. If you have a pet or service animal, include their information and needs, and then share it with friends and family. DPH especially advises people with access and functional needs who live alone, to find a primary Preparedness Buddy, as well as an alternate buddy. They should also identify and send a copy of the brochure to an out-of-state Preparedness Buddy.

“Keeping all Delawareans safe is a priority of the Division of Public Health,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Most everyone has someone with access and functional needs in their family or friend network. By helping those who may need extra assistance prepare for emergencies, we are taking an important step towards doing just that. We strongly urge anyone with access and functional needs to take advantage of the Preparedness Buddy brochure as a precaution in case of an emergency.”

And, DPH urges loved ones or those serving people with access and functional needs to print and fill out the brochure if an individual is unable. The term “people with access and functional needs” is defined as those with hearing, mobility, cognitive, emotional, and mental challenges, and also can include older people, children, those with limited or no English language proficiency, persons from diverse cultures, individuals who use life-support systems, people who use service animals, and people who are medically or chemically dependent (meaning those who must regularly take medications or receive medical care or are struggling with substance abuse.)

DPH advises these seven steps for people with access and functional needs to plan for emergencies:

1. Find a Preparedness Buddy and an alternate buddy. Delawareans who live alone or have special needs should ask someone dependable to serve as their Preparedness Buddy and their alternate.

2. Complete the Preparedness Buddy personal emergency plan brochure. Keep the original plan on the refrigerator and a copy in a disaster kit. Ask your preparedness buddies to keep copies.

3. Include in the personal emergency plan what to do in case of interrupted utilities (electricity, gas, phone, and garbage disposal) and interrupted transportation (medication deliveries, transportation to and from work, and caregiver and family visits). Home health care clients should contact their providers to ask how bad weather impacts their schedule and ability to reach clients. Include contact names, street addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Review and update emergency plans each year or during peak disaster seasons.

4. The Preparedness Buddy should regularly check in on their designated buddy to ensure they have enough medication, oxygen, medical supplies, food, and water.

5. Read the “Emergency Preparedness” section of the Guide to Services for Older Delawareans and Persons with Disabilities at, pages 82-84.

6. Register Delawareans with access and functional needs at the Smart 9-1-1 website. All three counties use Smart 9-1-1. Smart 9-1-1 is a service that allows residents to create a free Safety Profile for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 and first responders to have in the event of an emergency. When anyone in that household dials 9-1-1 from a phone associated with their Safety Profile, their profile is immediately displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker providing additional information that can be used to facilitate the proper response to the proper location.

7. Read the emergency planning instructions for your region:

The Office of Preparedness created the Preparedness Buddy brochure in collaboration with Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities, the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), the Developmental Disabilities Council, Autism Delaware, the University of Delaware Center for Disabilities Studies, Family SHADE, and local Emergency Operations Centers.

For more information on preparing for emergencies such as what items to keep in a disaster kit and evacuation planning visit:

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.