The needs of children with autism present challenges for their families and caretakers when faced with a disaster. Because people with autism have difficulties adapting to new situations, preparation is critical to ensuring their success during a disaster.


By preparing ahead of time, families and caregivers can lessen the impacts of disaster on their child with autism. Disasters have the potential to impact our lives without warning. Hazards like extreme weather, terrorist attacks, or substantial infrastructure damage can significantly impact our communities, homes, and daily routines. For someone with autism, a shift in routine can be upsetting under ideal circumstances and detrimental during a disaster. Preparing beforehand ensures your child’s medical, sensory, and communication needs are met during an emergency. 


By understanding how to recognize patients with autism in the field, emergency responders can tailor their response to help lessen the strain on people with autism during an emergency.  

Are you prepared?

Beth Wyatt has over 16 years of experience as an emergency responder and has a Master of Science in Emergency Services Administration. She is also the proud mother of two children diagnosed with autism. This combination of professional and personal experience makes her uniquely qualified to speak on the challenges of working with patients on the autism spectrum.  Her preparedness booklet, Preparing Your Child for Disaster: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers of Autistic Dependents, has helped families talk to and prepare their children for disasters. 


For the past 10 years, Beth has delivered her Autism Recognition and Response training to emergency responders on recognizing, preventing, and de-escalating emergencies involving patients impacted by autism. Her training has been specially designed for fire, emergency medical, police, search and rescue, and emergency response personnel. 

Beth also presents to emergency managers on recognizing the need to address community members with Autism when preparing for and responding to disasters. 

For questions or to schedule a consultation contact Beth at