Individuals with Limited Transportation
The 2016 American Community Survey stated that over 10 million U.S. households do not have a private vehicle. People who are without a car or are dependent on public transit will likely need additional assistance for transportation in an emergency situation.1
Considering transportation needs of the whole community from the Access and Functional Needs Toolkit Integrating a Community Partner Network to Inform Risk Communication Strategies1:
- During widespread evacuations, transportation systems may be at or over capacity.
- Plans and transportation systems should prepare ahead of times for the needs of the whole community.
- When creating evacuation messages, it is important to consider the accessibility and availability of the different types of transportation. For example, night versus day or public versus private.
Establish and maintain working relationships with hotels, stadiums and convention centers to identify specific info that guests may need during an evacuation. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Access and Functional Needs Toolkit Integrating a Community Partner Network to Inform Risk Communication Strategies listed potential partners:1
- Convention centers
- Licensed care and long-term care facilities
- Low-income housing
- Nonprofit organizations and support groups including faith-based groups
- Paratransit services
- Public and private transit providers such as railways, subways, buses, and ferry services
- Social service agencies
- Taxi companies, ride sharing companies
This noteworthy practice for transportation is from the CDC’s Access and Functional Needs Toolkit Integrating a Community Partner Network to Inform Risk Communication Strategies:1
- Planning before an emergency:
- Use community-based organizations to identify transportation-dependent populations. Include members of the public and private sector.
- Conduct regular, periodic drills for evacuating transportation-dependent populations.
- Inform the public about transportation options and evacuation plans before an emergency.
- Use a variety of media and accessible formats to publicize pick-up and drop-off locations.
- Equip the public information officer (PIO) or media spokesperson of partner organizations with answers for transportation and evacuation-related questions.
- When an emergency is imminent:
- Notify partner organizations to broadly disseminate risk information to the groups they serve in the potentially affected area.
- Distribute evacuation route information, including alternative route information.
- Evaluate and make necessary changes to the communication plan; relate the changes to partner organizations and the public.
Key Considerations for Communication Planning about Transportation from the CDC’s Access and Functional Needs Toolkit:1
- Develop transportation messages for evacuation scenarios, including shelter locations and items to bring.
- Identify transportation-disadvantaged populations. Plan for the needs related to evacuation in state and jurisdictional risk assessments.
- Develop protocols for communicating transportation options in an evacuation.
- Conduct drills and evacuation exercises incorporating various types of public and private transportation providers.
- Communicate transportation options to the public often, not just after an incident.
- Provide evacuation information to critical stakeholders that support populations with access and functional needs.
- Engage partners to give evacuation information to transient populations, including tourists or non-residents, who may have limited access to radio, television, or internet.
- Disseminate information routinely about the availability of paratransit services and pick-up locations.
- Inform pet owners about how to safely evacuate with service animals or pets.
- 211 of Connecticut
- 211 of Connecticut provides resources of transportation programs and services across Connecticut for those who have limited transportation or other access and functional needs.
- Connecticut Human Services Transportation Programs
- Connecticut Department of Transportation has multiple resources for transportation for disadvantaged populations.
- My Place CT
- Connecticut Department of Social Services in collaboration with other state agencies has a “Dial-A-Ride” program in most towns for older adults and individuals with disabilities.
- CT Transit
- CT Transit offers Senior and Disabled Reduced Fares on the Connecticut state-subsidized bus services, which include: Greater Bridgeport Transit, Milford Transit District and more.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2021). Access and Functional Needs Toolkit: Integrating a Community Partner Network to Inform Risk Communication Strategies. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).