A “special needs individual,” is pre-identified as likely to require assistance more than that provided to the public in a time of disaster, particularly if 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, difficulty understanding directions public safety officials will provide due to language barriers, or not being able to receive those directions due to lack of access to a television or radio. If you are completing this on behalf of a family member that resides in a nursing home or other long term care facility, there is no necessity in completing this survey, as the facility has already been identified.
The information entered in this database will be used by emergency managers and emergency responders to better identify and assist those individuals in our community who may be vulnerable in times of disaster. The information is held securely and only accessed for the purpose of emergency response and emergency planning. This service is provided by the Berks County Department of Emergency Services 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 and 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 also 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.