FederalStateLocal COVID-19

Federal, state, and local policymakers should plan for and mitigate potential natural hazards. This includes identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities and risks in order to expedite recovery efforts. Efforts should include disaster-resistant building codes, design regulations, and infrastructure plans in addition to preventing development in high-risk zones. 

Policymakers should regularly plan, execute, and evaluate outreach and education activities to equip all residents to shelter in place or evacuate safely. This includes older adults, people with disabilities, people who do not speak English, and other difficult-to-reach populations. Policymakers should develop pragmatic evacuation plans with sufficient shelter space, including special needs shelters. 

Policymakers at all levels of government should regularly conduct specific, comprehensive, and evidence-based planning. This planning should address specifically the needs of older adults, people with disabilities, and their caregivers in different settings. The federal government should require all states to develop comprehensive disaster plans. 

Evacuation orders should specifically address the needs of these populations, as well as others who may need to remain in the community. They could include those with special medical needs(see also Chapter 7: Coordinated Emergency and Crisis Planning and Chapter 8: Adequate Emergency Preparedness Plans). 

Policymakers should create and implement plans to address the needs of vulnerable populations, including older adults and people with disabilities, on seasonal extreme temperature days. This includes providing cooling centers during heat waves and heating centers during extreme cold spells.