In January 2008, the Office for Access and Functional Needs (OAFN) was created within the California Emergency Management Agency. The purpose of the OAFN is to identify needs of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs before, during and after a disaster, and integrate disability elements and resources into all aspects of emergency management systems.
The lessons documented from the years of assisting individuals with diverse disabilities and functional needs in disasters show three areas that are repeatedly identified as most important to people with disabilities and access and functional needs. They are 1) Communication (Alert, Warning, Notification), 2) Evacuation (Transportation), and 3) Sheltering. OAFN has developed a community network with the purpose of enhancing communication in order to identify needs and locate resources for those individuals with access and functional needs impacted by a disaster. The first step in this process was to develop a database of community-based organizations that are either the state association or providing direct services to people with disabilities and access and functional needs. The database is utilized to communicate potential disaster situations, and identify needs and resources during disasters and in recovery.
To have your organization considered to be part of the Community Network you must be a direct service provider and willing to provide 24/7 contact information. Please click on the following email link and provide a description of your organization including purpose, population served and the type of disaster services provided. The email address is: OAFN@calema.ca.gov
Thank you in advance for your interest in the Community Network. Following are organizations that are part of the Community Network:
Blind and Visually Impaired
California Council of the Blind, Inc.