Catering to understand the needs of the disabled population has been an important issue in the field of emergency management. However. there has been little research on the developmentally disabled populations and of populations in long-term care or institutional settings. Using organizational effectiveness theory. this research sets out to determine emergency planning performance at state-run institutions housing the developmentally disabled in four states: Washington, Colorado. South Carolina, and New Jersey. These states were selected due to their variation in policy structure, hazard risks. and rate of institutionalization. Emergency response plans from each of the facilities in the four states were selected and then analyzed for common themes in
their content. In addition to this. a randomly selected institution from each state was interviewed about emergency planning processes and how successful they deemed themselves. It was discovered that there were various barriers that each state suffered from in implementing emergency planning procedures, which ranged from resource power to lack of structure. It was also found that increased hazard risk might drive institutions to perform better at emergency planning. It is recommended that lesser successful states examine their more successful counterparts and implement such practices into their own departmental and institutional entities.