The East Central PA Task Force (ECPTF) is a cooperative effort of Berks, Columbia, Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, Schuylkill, and Wyoming counties. The task force is organized to assist member agencies with tools, strategies and guidance in their efforts toward an all hazards approach to emergency preparedness. This project, the ECPTF Special Needs Survey, is an example of these efforts. For the purpose of this project, a special needs individual is someone who is pre-identified as likely to require assistance in excess of that provided to the general public in a time of disaster, particularly in the event that large scale evacuation is necessary. These special needs could include, but are not limited to, requiring specialized medical equipment, difficulty walking, blindness, deafness, or being bedridden. They could also include having no easy access to transportation, not understanding directions public safety officials will provide due to language barriers, and not being able to receive those directions due to not having access to a television or radio.
The information entered in this database will be used by emergency responders to better identify and assist those individuals in our community who may be least able to help themselves in times of disaster. The information will be held securely and only accessed for the purpose of emergency response and planning. This service is government provided and completely free of charge. At the completion of the survey you will be asked if you would like someone from your local American Red Cross chapter to contact you to discuss personal and family emergency planning. This is an important opportunity as the first line of defense against the effects of disaster is personal preparedness. The American Red Cross will provide this service at absolutely no cost to you. However, if you answer no, we assure you that you will not be contacted. Your response to this question will in no way impact the efforts that public safety organizations will make to assist you if disaster strikes.