The Active Planning Workbook _review

Seven community members wearing face masks are seated around a table in a small meeting style room.
It may not look like it, but the people in this room are socially distanced. There is an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting for anyone who needs it.
EM, a white bald man in his 50s wears a facemask

EM: The Active Planning Workbook guides the Community Stakeholder Meeting. Participants collaborate to complete 3 steps using 3 tools in the Workbook. 

The Active Planning Workbook 

3 Steps to Follow

1. Where are we now?

2. Where do we want to be? 

3. How do we get there?  

 3 Tools to Complete 

1. Needs Assessment/Gap Analysis 

2. Set Priorities 

3. Close the gap with an Action Plan 

Marco, Franny and their baby Juniper stand together. Wearing facemasks, Franny signs "Hello" in ASL and Marco has Juniper in a front-facing baby carrier

Marco [Signing]: As Community Stakeholder Meeting participants collaborate to complete the Active Planning Workbook, group discussion will identify gaps and lead to strategies for closing the gaps. Once the Workbook is complete the community will have a blueprint to make the local emergency plan (and any response practices not in the plan) more inclusive.

If you’d like, take a quick look at the workbook now and then come back to talk some more. [Link to Workbook PDF] You’ll be able to download the entire Workbook as a PDF as you leave Disasterville. 

arrow with three boxes, one is filled in reading "where are we now? needs assessment and gap analysis step 1"

Let’s go over the 3 Steps in more detail.

Step 1: The Meeting Facilitator reads Tool 1, Where are we now? Needs Assessment and Gap Analysis, a checklist of standards, out loud, item by item. Participants decide together whether the community meets each standard described. The Recorder makes a checkmark in the Workbook if standards are met and leaves a blank if standards aren’t met. Some communities choose to give themselves partial credit.

The checklist is meant to start a discussion about people with disabilities and other populations with access and functional needs, local emergency services, resources, and individual responsibility to self-prepare. 

As items are read aloud, participants share ideas, knowledge, expertise, and resources. As the discussion continues, gaps and areas for improvement become clear, and participants begin to think of strategies to address the gaps. 

Checkmarks mean a standard has been met. Unchecked lines mean gaps or areas for improvement. 

If the checklist seems overwhelming, remember it’s a discussion starter. Some items may not apply to every community. 

PJ, in their 30s, wears a facemask and glasses

PJ: Think of your community as you look at examples from the Workbook’s Tool 1 checklist below.

From: Tool 1 – Where are we now? 

Transportation and evacuation 

  • ___Our emergency plan includes a description of the likely evacuation needs of people with disabilities
  • ___Our emergency plan specifies a policy to evacuate families together evacuate caregivers together with those they care for, and evacuate people with disabilities together with vital equipment, assistive technology, and service animals
  • ___This policy is incorporated into our contracts with third-party transportation providers
  • ___Our emergency managers/planners have coordinated with local entities that are required to have evacuation plans
  • ___Our emergency managers/planners have reached out to workplaces and public venues that are not required to have evacuation plans and encouraged those entities to share their evacuation plans with the emergency managers/planners

Mass Care Sheltering

  • __ Our shelter capacity assessment takes into account space issues relating to people with disabilities, such as additional space for caregivers, service animals, mobility and other equipment, or accessible cots
  • __ Our emergency plan includes a process to evaluate potential shelter sites for physical accessibility and to address inaccessibility with remediation or by switching sites
  • __ Our emergency plan identifies sources for supplies likely to be needed by people with disabilities that can be borrowed, traded or used in exchanged for some other item or purchased and accessed quickly
  • ___Our emergency plan identifies sources for supplies likely to be needed by people with disabilities that can be borrowed, bartered, or purchased and accessed quickly
  • ___Shelter policy permits service animals in all parts of the shelter where their owners may go
  • ___ Shelter staff understands that by law they may ask only 2 questions about service animals:
    1.) Is the service animal required because of a disability 2.) What work or task has service animal been trained to perform

Emergency Dispensing Site (EDS)

  • ___The EDS site is in an accessible building with:
  • ___Accessible parking and passenger drop off areas 
  • ___Accessible entryways and pathways 
  •  ___Accessible restrooms 
  • ___Check in areas with chairs and accessible tables
  • ____Registration materials accessible and in different
  • ____People to help with registration 
  •  ___Waiting areas with chairs and accessible tables 
  •   ___Quiet space is available for those who need it 
  • ___Inclusive and accessible signage
  •        ___Clear instructions for the pathway through the stations and at each station
  • ____ The registration information collects information which will aid in contact tracing, if needed
  • ____ Reminder system for second vaccine, if needed
  • ____ There is a protocol for triaging people getting the vaccine
  • ____ There is a protocol if the triage indicates that someone has COVID-19



  • ___ People with disabilities participate in writing after-action reports
  • __ A priority facility restoration list has been developed and the list includes facilities that serve people with disabilities.

? Think about these examples. What parts of the checklist are new to you? Which ones are you already familiar with? Are there certain questions that you may need to emphasize for work in your community?

Allen, a Black man, wears a facemask and uses a walker.


Step 2: The Recorder tallies the checkmarks and blank spaces from Tool 1 and announces the results. The meeting participants decide on 5 gaps or areas for improvement with simple, quick, and/or inexpensive solutions. The group then selects 3 gaps that will need more extensive or expensive solutions.

arrow with three boxes, one is filled in reading "where do we want to be setting priorities, step 2"
Rachel, a white woman in her 40s, wears a facemask and glucose monitor on her upper arm


Step 3: The Facilitator leads the group to complete an Action Plan which describes the main gaps identified, proposed strategies to address those gaps, people responsible for implementation, and a timeline. The Action Plan is based on the results of the checklist and discussions at the Community Stakeholder Meeting.

arrow with three boxes, one is filled in reading "how do we get there? closing the gap step 3"

? Just for practice, Terrye, think about a potential priority for your community. Consider using the template below from Tool 3 below to think through how to fill this gap. (If you can’t think of a priority, you might use accessible communication for sending out important public information since this is a common gap.)

Action Plan

PriorityDescribe GapProposed SolutionResponsible personsStart and End Dates
1Example: accessible communication to send out important public informationLocal disability organization offered to lead workshop on accessible communication for public health planning office.
Local self-advocate group offered to review materials for plain text readability.
Shaniqua Wilson
Blane Smith
 Start: May, 2021
End: Sept, 2021
EM, a white bald man in his 50s wears a facemask

EM: Now you’ll be ready for the Disasterville Community Stakeholder Meeting in a few weeks.