Hurricane Dorian Update

October 2, 2019

Disaster Hotline

(800) 626-4959

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies (the Partnership) is the only national membership organization with a mission of equal access to emergency and disaster programs before, during and after disasters for people with disabilities.

We are the nation’s experts on disability rights, accessibility and inclusion throughout all phases of disaster operations.

Our members represent disability organizations in every congressional district in the country, and our member organizations and their affiliates operate in virtually every US community.

We know that community resilience is only possible when planning, response and recovery is accessible to all and includes people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs as key members of community preparedness and resilience initiatives, before, during and after disasters.

The Partnership’s Disaster Hotline provides information, referrals, guidance, technical assistance and resources to people with disabilities, their families, allies, organizations assisting disaster impacted individuals with disabilities and others seeking assistance with immediate and urgent disaster related needs.

The Disaster Hotline is always available for intake calls, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at (800) 626-4959 and We will have our knowledgeable team respond to your call as soon as possible, often immediately, and we intend to respond to all callers within 24 hours.

Our hotline team is led by experts on the many issues affecting people with disabilities in disasters and strategies for meeting those immediate needs. We can provide accessible and multilingual information to callers, including via videophone for Deaf callers, upon request to

Issues we provide information, guidance and referrals for:

· Urgent disability related disaster response referrals

· Prevention of institutionalization during and after disasters

· Applying for, understanding and navigating FEMA and other federal, state and local government emergency and disaster programs and services

· Disability rights before, during and after disasters

· Accessible and actionable emergency information

· Building and neighborhood evacuation

· Accessible transportation

· Sheltering and temporary housing

· Disaster housing programs

· Alternatives to “special needs” and “medical” sheltering and “special needs” and “voluntary” registries

· Health maintenance

· Health care access

· Disability accommodations in disasters

· Repair, replacement and loaned durable medical equipment, disability supplies, and assistive devices

· Returning home, school, work and community after a disaster

· Navigating disaster recovery initiatives

· Disaster funding

The Disaster Hotline is available to:

· Disaster impacted individuals with disabilities, their families and allies

· Disability advocacy and services organizations

· Community organizations seeking to assist disaster impacted individuals with disabilities

· Government and non-government representatives from emergency management, public health, medical, private sector, business, voluntary organizations active in disasters, faith-based, elected officials and others seeking to assist individuals with disabilities and disaster impacted communities

· Media inquiries

· Donors and others who seek to support our work



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About the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies (the Partnership) is a coalition of local, national and global disability rights, emergency management, public health and community leaders and allies committed to equal access and whole community inclusion before, during and after disasters.

The Partnership was founded in 2016 by Portlight Strategies, Inc. our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor. Our founders and members have a strong track record of protecting and advancing the rights of people with disabilities (26% of the US population) and over one billion people with disabilities across the globe.

We have been leading humanitarian response and relief initiatives to meet the disability accessibility needs of disaster impacted individuals throughout catastrophic disasters and humanitarian response and relief for over twenty years.

The Partnership was founded to focus on disability inclusive emergency management community organizing, policy, advocacy and training.

We work collaboratively with Portlight, our members and partners to lead change, navigate complex systems and eliminate barriers to equal access to emergency and disaster programs and services for people with disabilities.

Our coalition focuses on the access and functional needs of countless people who are disproportionately impacted in disasters due to inadequate planning, preparedness and accessibility.

This includes people who may require assistance, accommodation or modification due to any situation (temporary or permanent) that limits their ability to take action in an emergency.

In addition to people with disabilities, this also includes people who are marginalized, stigmatized or excluded, older adults, individuals with limited language proficiency, low literacy, temporary and chronic health conditions, pregnant women and people experiencing homelessness, limited access to transportation or the financial resources to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster.

Globally, we bring our expertise and leadership to disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, human rights, humanitarian action, strategic development, and resilient community initiatives.

Our US members lead disability rights initiatives in every congressional district and virtually every community across the country.

Our core values of equal access, inclusion and independence continually guide our work towards a future where community readiness is achieved and sustained for everyone through a shared and unwavering commitment to accessibility, universal design and reasonable accommodation before, during and after disasters.

This includes equal access and full inclusion throughout planning, exercises, alerts, notification, evacuation, transportation, sheltering, health maintenance, medical care and temporary housing.

This also includes maintaining a full commitment to equal access, inclusion and independence as disaster impacted people return home, to school, work and their community and it carries on throughout recovery and mitigation initiatives, led by the active and knowledgeable leadership of people with disabilities and fully informed by the community as a whole.

Experience has shown us that these values of access, inclusion and independence are imperatives for achieving and sustaining community-wide disaster resilience.


Man in wheelchair by the water

© Copyright 2017 Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies