Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness (P- CEP) Resource Package

P-CEP helps to match emergency planning to the supports people need for their health and safety in emergencies.

P-CEP puts people and their support needs at the centre of disability inclusive emergency planning

The P-CEP has three components:

1. Framework (or capability wheel); 2. Principles; 3. Steps

The Capability Wheel guides self-assessment and tailored emergency preparedness planning in eight areas.

Three Principles ensure people and their support needs are at the centre of emergency preparedness planning. They are:

  1. Emergency preparedness is a process, not a one-time event.
  2. People are experts in their lives, planning starts with them.
  3. Person-centred planning conversations build capability of multiple stakeholders toward Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DIDRR).

Four steps bring emergency personnel together with people with disability and the services that support them to enable effective risk communication and preparedness actions.


Peter describes how to start the conversation using the Capability Wheel

Here's what you need to know about each step

P-CEP Workbook provides information, resources and guidance to get the emergency preparedness conversation started.

I can't really think of any other time that I've taken something designed for people with disability and gone and applied it to people without disability. So, I'd really encourage everyone to have a look and think, "How might the P-CEP apply to my own life?"

Nadia Brady, QDN Peer Leader

Nadia, 19 May 2020

P-CEP in action

The P-CEP supports disability inclusive disaster risk reduction by making sure that people with disability and their support needs are at the centre of emergency management.

When an individual's needs do not match the level of support available in an emergency, we all need to work together to address those gaps through collaboration.

Rebecca shares her journey

The Capability Wheel

Learn more about the P-CEP Framework and Toolkit.

We have the tool. Now what's needed is to make sure that people know about the P-CEP and can use it to work together with people with disability to make a plan for their safety and well-being in emergencies.

What's my role

Some organisations are particularly well-positioned to play a key role. They are:

  • Disabled People's Organisations
  • Community services and disability support organisations
  • Emergency personnel, including volunteers
  • Local Councils

Disabled People's Organisations

Disabled People's Organisations (DPO)

Tile image for DIDRR Framework and Toolkit

DPOs and their members can play a significant role in disaster policy, planning and community-level preparedness. Through their lived experience and leadership roles as disability advocates, DPOs represent the voice and perspective of their members with disability.

DPOs have:

  • in-depth understanding of the factors that increase risk for people with disability in emergencies.
  • access to informal networks of support and communication.

This information is needed for community level emergency management and disaster recovery planning but is not readily available to emergency personnel.

Through the P-CEP Peer Leadership Program
peer leaders with disability are:

  • informing themselves and others about risks and preparedness steps
  • connecting people with disability to emergency personnel, information and
  • leading person-centred emergency preparedness conversations at the
    individual and community level
  • influencing change toward disability inclusive emergency planning with local

Nadia explains how people with disability are leading change toward disability inclusive emergency planning

Community and Disability Organisations

Community and Disability Support Organisations

Personal emergency preparedness of people with disability must go hand-in-hand with organisational preparedness of the services that support them.

Community, health, and disability support organisations are a local community asset with the potential to increase safety and well-being for people with disability in emergencies. They can do this by:

  • making sure that everyone they support has a personal emergency plan; and
  • having a business continuity plan for how to maintain services and supports during times of emergency. Community and disability support organisations are harnessing this potential.
Community and disability support organisations are harnessing this potential.

Read these case studies to find out how:

Emergency Services Agencies

When emergency personnel have the right tools, they can ensure that their risk awareness and preparedness messages reach everyone, including people with disability.

Emergency personnel and emergency volunteers are the people we most often think we will rely on when disasters strike. The reality is that the people next to us in a disaster are the true "first responders."

A big part of emergency planning involves making sure that individuals, neighbourhoods, communities and businesses are prepared to support each other in an emergency. Emergency service agencies enable this this by engaging with people before a disaster strikes to help them learn about their disaster risks and make emergency plans.

Local Government

Local councils have multiple touch points into community. They can use these linkages to increase inclusion for people with disability and the services that support them in learning about and managing risks.

Tile image for People-Centred DIDRR

Local governments make emergency plans to keep their whole community safe when disaster strikes. These plans must include people with disability and their support needs, otherwise people with disability will get left behind when council enacts their plan. Local emergency plans must take into consideration the extra supports that people with disability need and how they will be organised and delivered in emergencies.

Cross-Sector Collaboration for DIDRR

In January 2021, Lorna Dunkley, ABC News reader interviewed Associate Professor Michelle Villeneuve about disability inclusive disaster risk reduction. They talked about the Black Summer bushfires and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disability inclusive emergency planning supports mutual learning that helps to build better emergency plans that include everyone.

Want to learn more?

Develop your capability through this 4-part Webinar Series

Learn how others got started through this Case Study Series

Watch the Disability Inclusive and Disaster Resilient Queensland Video Series


The Disability Inclusive and Disaster Resilient Queensland project was proudly funded by the Queensland Government through the Queensland Disaster Resilience Fund and the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy (2019 - 21).

It was led by Associate Professor Michelle Villeneuve at the Centre for Disability Research and Policy, University of Sydney and conducted in partnership with the Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) and the Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA).

This project built on the original P-CEP that received support under the joint State and Commonwealth Natural Disaster Resilience Program (PREPARE NSW, 2017-18).

Acknowledgement - DIDRR Logo

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