Helms School of Government


Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Melissa Stewart


Disaster Management, Special Needs Population


Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration


This research study intends to analyze the information and knowledge that is obtained by emergency managers and mitigation plans regarding the special needs population to better assist the resilience of the individuals within that population. This study focuses on whether the emergency managers' understanding of the demands of the special needs population affects the finalized mitigation plans for their respective locations in terms of the action plans developed to assist the special needs population. This study uses a mixed-methods research approach in which quantitative research was conducted utilizing quantitative and conducts a survey, using qualitative research, to participants and examination of mitigation plans that were associated with the study participants. Study analysis shows that emergency managers in local government agree that necessary information regarding the special needs population is obtained and that adequate training is provided to emergency responders regarding the special needs’ populations; however, there is a lack of evidence found in the mitigation plans that supports the emergency managers responses. Evidence suggests that emergency managers have more confidence regarding their knowledge of the special needs population than is referenced in respective mitigation plans.