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Access & Functional Needs

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Preparedness for the Whole Community

No two disasters are ever the same. Yet, virtually all incidents disproportionately affect individuals with access and functional needs (AFN) (i.e. people with disabilities, seniors, children, limited English proficiency, and transportation disadvantaged).

The County of Sonoma utilizes a whole community approach by offering training and guidance to emergency managers and planners, disability advocates and other service providers responsible for planning for, responding to and helping communities recover from disasters.

The following information is designed to provide additional resources for community members with access and functional needs that are not always obvious and may not be covered in the SoCoEmergency Preparedness information.

County Resources

  • Know who to contact for transportation help if you are not physically able to evacuate by yourself due to a disability or other condition:
    • Sonoma County Paratransit/Volunteer Wheels at (707) 573-3377
    • In a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1.
    • Texting 9-1-1 is an option for those who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability, or who cannot safely call 9-1-1 in a dangerous situation, to reach Sonoma County Sheriff’s office or the police departments in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park and Healdsburg only.
  • For information on critical Alert and Warning resources, visit Sign up for alerts.
  • Learn about making an emergency plan
  • Read more about building a kit
  • For special information regarding PG&E power shutoffs, see Preparing for Power Shutoffs
  • Disability Services & Legal Center is available to help residents with AFN prepare for evacuation, disasters and PSPS. Visit the the DSLC page.

Preparing your child for a disaster

The needs of children with autism present challenges for their families and caretakers when faced with a disaster. Because children with autism have difficulties adapting to new situations, preparation is key to ensuring their success during a disaster. This customizable booklet addresses the specialized needs of your child:







State and Federal Resources





This video brought to you by the Ready Campaign and Ad Council shows people with access and functional needs taking charge to prepare themselves and their families for emergencies.