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Special Needs/ Older Adults Team

Purpose: To identify and to address disaster-related needs of persons with special needs and other adults.

Lead Agency: The Heritage Area Agency on Aging

Roles and Responsibilities:

One primary role of the Older Adults/ Special Needs team is to educate the public on the Special Needs Registry.

The Special Needs Registry is a registry service run by Linn County EMA that helps the county contact individuals who may need extra assistance during emergencies. 

This registry is accessible through United Way 2-1-1 at 1-866-469-2211 or by visiting the Linn County EMA website by clicking here. An individual may want to access this service if they believe they would require help to evacuate in an emergency.

This would include individuals who may have: 

  • Visual impairment
  • Hearing impairment
  • Mobility Impairment
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Medical Conditions

Some additional roles for this team include:

Preparation and training:

  • Identify common disaster-caused needs that are experienced by person with special needs and older adults
  • Provide emergency planning training and education to the public and to service providers
  • Participate in Linn County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) disaster exercises.
  • Enroll persons with special needs on the Linn County EMA Special Needs Registry.

Emergency Response:

  • Communicate with Linn County EMA Human Services Branch to ensure that the following services are being provided to person with special needs and older adults:
    • Nutritional
    • Shelter
    • Medical
    • Mental Health
    • Transportation
  • Identify barriers that prevent recovery to pre-event status for persons with special needs and advocate for solutions.


  • Ensure that appropriate transition planning is in process for person with special needs and for older adults.
  • Confirm the availability of disaster-related funding resources for persons with special needs and older adults.
  • Conduct post-disaster assessment to improve future emergency planning efforts.