Disability and Disaster News
US AND BAHAMAS HURRICANE DORIAN URGENT UPDATE – HOW YOU CAN HELP HURRICANE SURVIVORS WITH DISABILITIES
Portlight Strategies and the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies are supporting the needs of Hurricane Dorian impacted people with disabilities and disability organizations as the hurricane continues to have a massive effect on millions of people from the Bahamas to North Carolina.
We continue to convene daily National Stakeholder Disaster Response Partners, including disability and disaster experts, community leaders, emergency managers, first responders, public health, government and non-government organizations and our allies for teleconferences, planning sessions, advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities and state-led initiatives in Dorian’s path throughout each day.
Our Disaster Hotline, 1-800-626-4959, has been assisting callers with disability related evacuation, transportation, sheltering, disability equipment and supplies, health maintenance, and accessible communication needs and navigating complex and inaccessible disaster related government programs and services.
Our Disability Access Response Team (DART) and our disability and medical equipment and supply resources are immediately available to all disaster impacted people with disabilities and disability organizations reaching out to us for assistance.
As Dorian finally moves out to sea, we are focusing on the life-sustaining needs of hurricane survivors with disabilities in North Carolina and the Bahamas. Along with our close partners, Triton Relief, Trach Mommas and the National Council on Independent Living, we have launched our disability focused response on getting critically needed disability supplies to our partners on the ground.
We are very grateful to have restored communication with our Bahamas partner 242 Disability Organization, a Disabled Persons Organization providing direct services to people with disabilities on the islands of Grand Bahama, Abaco, Eleuthera, Bimini and the other islands within the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. We are learning from them about the horrific impact of the hurricane on all Bahamians and especially the disproportionate impact on people with disabilities. We have also received a list of urgently needed disability related health and hygiene supplies.
We need your support more than ever!
Many of our supporters have asked how you can help support our work in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina AND in the Bahamas.
Here is what we need right now:
Financial assistance, donations of health and disability items that can be delivered to the people who most need them, and introductions to corporate and humanitarian relief initiatives underway, to ensure that people with disabilities have a real chance to benefit from their assistance.
We are focused on people who:
>can’t reach central distribution points due to debris, loss of mobility equipment, stamina and deteriorating health
>don’t hear instructions through bullhorns, or don’t understand what they are supposed to do to get help
>don’t need acute medical care, but do need disability assistance, health, and medical supplies to maintain their health, safety, and independence
>may be left behind when resources are scarcemay be stigmatized or marginalized when triage decisions are being made about limited resources.
If you would prefer to send your support via USPS mail, please use our mailing address:
P.O. Box 14109, Charleston, SC 29422
HURRICANE DORIAN URGENT UPDATE
Portlight and the Partnership are working around the clock to provide assistance to people with disabilities and disability organizations in the Bahamas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina as we all brace for Hurricane Dorian’s catastrophic impact over the next week and its aftermath for months and years to come.
We have been convening daily National Stakeholder Disaster Response Partners, including disability and disaster experts, community leaders, first responders, public health, government and non-government organizations and our allies for teleconferences, planning sessions, advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities and state-led initiatives in Dorian’s path throughout each day.
Our Disaster Hotline, 1-800-626-4959, has been assisting callers with disabilities in Florida and South Carolina who have been trying to prepare for evacuation and sheltering, but are learning that state plans are not in place to accommodate their disability, access and functional needs.
Our Disability Assistance Response Team (DART) and our disability and medical equipment and supply resources are immediately available to all disaster impacted people with disabilities and disability organizations reaching out to us for assistance.
One of our newest partners is "242 Disability Organization" serving people with disabilities on the islands of Grand Bahama, Abaco, Eleuthera, Bimini and the other islands within the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. We are working together to assist Bahamians with disabilities and older adults throughout the catastrophic impact and aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
We need your support more than ever!
Our 24/7 Disaster Hotline
Deployment of our Disability Assistance Response Team to the Bahamas and Dorian impacted states who will need our immediate and sustained help
Urgent and unmet needs for disability supplies, equipment and device distribution
Direct Support to Local Disability Organizations Impacted by Disasters
National Disaster Response and Recovery Coordination
Among our Disaster Hotline Calls and urgent requests for assistance:
Several people with disabilities being turned away from Florida’s shelter registry system because they are “too disabled”. This includes a mom with a disability and her disabled child with a tracheotomy who are now being assisted to stay out of a hospital or long-term care facility if they need to evacuate from their home.
A man in South Carolina receiving hospice care at home was assured that the hospice care provider had an emergency plan. His family contacted our Hotline when they discovered that the provider doesn’t have a plan and they are under a mandatory evacuation order. Our South Carolina Team and our partners from Triton Relief are working with this family to meet their immediate evacuation needs.
Persistent advocacy has resulted in much more frequent use of qualified American Sign Language Interpreters visible alongside Governors during emergency press conferences. However, we have received several complaints that, despite persistent advocacy efforts, critical emergency weather information being shared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on their website and the websites of the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center are not accessible to people who are blind or have low vision. Thus, their directives to “pay attention to the cone” and other lifesaving visual information is not accessible despite federal accessibility requirements. We are continuing our efforts to ensure that all disaster impacted people with disabilities have equal access to actionable emergency information.
During disaster response, our role is to anticipate and identify problems people with disabilities are facing; engage stakeholders; share good practices; drive program and policy imperatives and civil rights protection to proactively prevent harm.
We are providing tools and resources to disaster impacted people with disabilities, local disability organizations and other stakeholders to solve problems; maintain health, safety, independence; and prevent institutionalization.
Since hurricane Harvey made landfall exactly 2 years ago, our Disaster Hotline has assisted over 5,000 disaster impacted individuals, we have supported distribution of hundreds of thousands of medical supplies, equipment and disability devices, direct assistance for local disability organizations and our community engagement initiatives continue to bring together stakeholders from every disaster impacted state and our local, state and national partners.
The assistance we provide would not be possible without the commitment of our partners and allies and the generosity of our donors. We are thankful for the many supporters from across the country who continue to pledge their support to our community, and we ask you once again to support our efforts to respond to the immediate needs of our neighbors impacted by disasters. You’ve been a big part of our organization’s fabric over the years. We can’t thank you enough for your support as a donor. Although we are relentless in pushing our communities and our government toward inclusive preparedness and disaster resilience every day, the frequency, intensity, and duration of disasters continue to grow, and our work is very far from over.
When communities are impacted by disasters, we are all impacted, and when disaster impacted people with disabilities are included in planning, response, and recovery, the whole community benefits. Your donation will have an immediate and substantial impact on disaster impacted individuals with disabilities, local disability organizations and the whole community.
If you would prefer to send your support via USPS mail, please use our mailing address:
P.O. Box 14109, Charleston, SC 29422
United States House of Representatives, Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery
Do you have a disaster story to tell?
REAADI & DRMA Introduction:
Press Release from Senator Casey (D-PA):
Press Release from Congressman Langevin (D-RI):
Press Release from Congressman Smith (R-NJ):
Press Release from Congresswoman Shalala (D-FL):
- NCD: Preserving Our Freedom: Ending Institutionalization of People with Disabilities During and After Disasters.
2019 Partnership Newsletters
Partnership in the News
- People with Disabilities Often Face ‘Institutionalization’ During Disasters
- Federal report highlights trend of involuntary institutionalization during and after disasters
- Disabled Students Are Left Behind In School Shooting Responses
- Disability Rights Advocates Work For Inclusion In Disaster Planning Process
- Disaster, Displacement and Disability Forum - Remarks from Marcie Roth
- The Storm After the Storm- Disaster, Displacement and Disability Following Hurricane Florence
- How to Prepare for an Earthquake If You Have a Disability
- Getting It Wrong: An Indictment with a Blueprint for Getting It Right - Disability Rights, Obligations and Responsibilities Before, During and After Disasters
- As Floods Push Homes Higher, the Disabled Risk Being Pushed Out
- USA: Recent disasters trigger complaints from disability groups
- During a Hurricane, People with Disabilities Fail to Find Equal Access to Emergency Programs
- As disasters strike, advocates worry FEMA policy changes put disability community at risk
- After Harvey, questions remain about whether registry helped people with disabilities
- Left behind: Is PCC prepared to evacuate disabled students?
- A resilient community is one that includes and protects everyone
- Lisa Herron reimagines a more inclusive emergency management system
- Disability and Disaster Response in The Age of Climate Change
- Support People with Disabilities Facing Harvey
- This nonprofit equips people with disabilities with the tools needed for a hurricane like Irma
- Nursing Homes and Emergency Preparedness
- Why evacuating is a bigger hurdle for the poor, elderly and disabled ahead of major disasters
- 5 years after Sandy, this woman still worries about being left behind because of her disability
- Disability Inclusion in Climate-Related Disaster Preparation
Disability and Disaster Resources
There are over 61 million adults with disabilities in the US and well over 1 billion children and adults with disabilities worldwide. These individuals are two to four times more likely to be injured or die in a disaster. And, the frequency and intensity of disasters continues to grow. People with disabilities must be actively involved in their own preparedness, and in the preparedness of their neighborhood and their community. Their families, co-workers, neighbors and allies must also commit to inclusive community resilience. The following resources provide information, tools and strategies to get ready before disaster strikes again and links for help during and after a disaster impacts your community.
Links to Resources for Disability Inclusive Emergency Preparedness, Disaster Risk Reduction, Response, Recovery, Mitigation and Community Resilience Before, During and After Disasters
- Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies Disaster Hotline
- REAADI for Disasters Act
- Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies
- Be Ready to Go: Evacuation Transportation Planning Tips for People with Access and Functional Needs
- Be Ready To Go: Disability-Specific Supplies For Emergency Kits
- Be Real, Specific, and Current: Emergency Preparedness Information for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs,
- Emergency Power Planning for People Who Use Electricity and Battery Dependent Assistive Technology and Medical Devices Emergency power planning checklist is for people who use electricity and battery dependent assistive technology and medical devices.
- Emergency Preparedness for Personal Assistant Services (PAS) Users, Edition 2.0, specific tips for individuals who use personal assistants, attendants or caregivers.
- Emergency Travel Safety Tips for Overnight Stays Tips for everyone, including specific tips for people with disabilities
- Tips for Emergency Use of Mobile Devices
- Emergency Registries are pointed to as an easy and logical answer for addressing what are perceived as “special needs” for a small segment of the population. In reality, registry issues are complex, and the needs of people when functionally defined, are not special, and are not limited to just a small group of people.
- Guidance for Integrating People with Disabilities in Emergency Drills, Table Tops and Exercises
- “We Prepare Every Day” Public Service Announcement Open captions, CDI and audio description
- Are You Ready?
- Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs
- READY.Gov in Spanish
- Resources for People with Disabilities, Access and Functional Needs
- National Fire Protection Association Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities
- Department of Labor Practical guidelines to help emergency managers and employees plan for workplace emergencies.
- Getting It Wrong: An Indictment with a Blueprint for Getting It Right- Disability Rights, Obligations and Responsibilities Before, During and After Disasters
- Manifesto for Disability Inclusive Emergency Management Before, During and After Disasters
- Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction- A Whole Community Action - A series of self-paced learning modules aims to build understanding about how to design and implement disaster risk reduction planning and preparedness strategies that are inclusive for all.
- Disaster Resources for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs
- Trach Mommas of Louisiana provides disability supplies to disaster-impacted people with disabilities
- Checklist for Inclusive Emergency Management
- This checklist is for emergency planners, managers, responders, and public information officers (PIOs) who have responsibility for developing, maintaining, testing, delivering and revising emergency plans and services.
- Pass it on Center Disaster Response
- The Pass It on Center works with Assistive Technology Act Programs and their nonprofit affiliates in other states and territories to provide safe, appropriate interim devices until a new, permanent device becomes available.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs in Emergencies https://www.cdc.gov/childrenindisasters/children-with-special-healthcare-needs.html
- Feeling Safe, Being Safe
- Guided by the Consumer Advisory Committee of the California Department of the Developmental Services, Feeling Safe, Being Safe materials provide practical learning required to put together personal emergency preparedness plans to share with family, neighbors and community support agencies. http://brcenter.org/lib/FSBS.php
- Emergency Power Planning for People Who Use Electricity and Battery-Dependent Assistive Technology and Medical Devices
- An emergency power planning checklist for people who use electricity and battery dependent assistive technology and medical devices https://adata.org/factsheet/emergency-power
- Disability-specific supplies for emergency kits/go kits https://adata.org/factsheet/emergency-supply
- Inclusive Event Procedures for Emergencies http://www.jik.com/pubs/InclusiveEventProcedures.docx
- ADA National Network Webinar Series: Emergency Management and Preparedness-Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities http://adapresentations.org/archive.php
- FEMA Language Guidelines for Inclusive Emergency Preparedness https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1500396064045-77f0aa8b4179e143c7a0ffd3cb9931e2/Language_Guidelines_Inclusive_Emergency_Management_2017_06_15.pdf
- FEMA Guidance on Planning for Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters http://www.fema.gov/pdf/about/odic/fnss_guidance.pdf
- FEMA Guide for Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities in Disasters: A Reference Guide to Federal Law The Reference Guide summarizes equal access requirements for people with disabilities within Disaster Mass Care, Housing, and Human Services functions, explaining how applicable Federal laws relate to government entities and non-government, private sector and religious organizations. https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2007/08/21/accom... and https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1617-20490-6430/section689referenceguide.pdf
- National Preparedness Goal The Nation’s approach to preparing for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to the security of the United States.
- National Planning Frameworks The Frameworks describe how the whole community works together to achieve theNational Preparedness Goal. There is one Framework for each of the five mission areas: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery.
- DHS Management Directive on Nondiscrimination for Individuals with Disabilities in DHS-Conducted Programs and Activities
- DHS Guide to Interacting with People Who Have Disabilities A Resource Guide for DHS Personnel, Contractors, and Grantees from the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
- DHS Tips for effectively communicating with protected populations during response and recovery
- US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) Listening Sessions with Disability Stakeholders February– June 2018
- Listening Sessions with Disability Stakeholders in Disaster Impacted Areas
- Recommendations for Emergency Managers for Improving the Delivery of Disaster Assistance to Disaster Survivors with Disabilities ENGLISH
- Recommendations for Emergency Managers for Improving the Delivery of Disaster Assistance to Disaster Survivors with Disabilities SPANISH
- DHS Instruction on Nondiscrimination for Individuals with Disabilities in DHS-Conducted Programs and Activities
- DHS Component Self-Evaluation and Planning Reference Guide
- CRCL and Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Joint Letter to State and Local Emergency Managers
- Department of Justice ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments
- Chapter 7, Emergency Management under Title II of the ADA
- Chapter 7, Addendum 1: Title II Checklist (Emergency Management) (HTML)| (PDF)
- Chapter 7, Addendum 2:The ADA and Emergency Shelters: Access for All in Emergencies and Disasters (HTML)| (PDF)
- Chapter 7, Addendum 3: ADA Checklist for Emergency Shelters (HTML)| (PDF)
- Introduction to Appendices 1 and 2 (HTML)| (PDF)
- An ADA Guide for Local Governments Making Community Emergency Preparedness and Response Programs Accessible to People with Disabilities
- A Resilient Community Is One That Includes and Protects Everyone
- Disability and Disasters: Explorations and Exchanges
- Crisis, Conflict and Disability: Ensuring Equality
- The Right to Be Rescued: Disability Justice in an Age of Disaster
- National Council on Disability – Emergency Management
- United Spinal Wheelchair Safety At Home and at Work
- Planning Checklist for Rapid Emergency Response for Organizations Serving People with Disabilities
- DOJ Statement of Interest, CALIF, et al. v. City of Los Angeles, et al.
- Los Angeles Settlement Agreement
- DOJ Statement of Interest, BCIL, et al. v. City of NY, et al.
- New York City Opinion and Order
- New York City Settlement Agreement http://s146926.gridserver.com/sites/dralegal.org/files/content/settlement_stip.pdf
- Settlement Fact Sheet http://www.dralegal.org/sites/dralegal.org/files/casefiles/bcidfactsheet.pdf
- Housing and Urban Development Crosscutting Federal Requirements Applicable to Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery Programhttps://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/CDBG-DR-Crosscutting-Federal-Requirements-Overview.pdf
- FCC Guidance on Accessibility of Emergency Information on Television http://www.fcc.gov/guides/emergency-video-programming-accessibility-persons-hearing-and-visual-disabilities
- FCC fact sheets on closed captioning and access to emergency information
- Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities - Principles for Disability Inclusive Emergency and Disaster Management
- Guidance Note on Disability and Emergency Risk Management for Health World Health Organization A guide for emergency healthcare providers who may treat people with access and functional needs. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/90369/1/9789241506243_eng.pdf
- Ensuring Language Access and Effective Communication During Response And Recovery: A Checklist For Emergency Responders Department Of Health And Human Services https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/lang-access-and-effective-comm-checklist-for-emergency-responders.pdf
- National Council on Disability: Emergency Management http://www.ncd.gov/policy/emergency_management
- Effective Communications for People with Disabilities: Before, During, and After Emergencies http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2014/05272014/
- Five Actions for Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Management – https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=%E2%80%A2+Five+Actions+for+Disability-Inclusive+Disaster+Risk+Management&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
- Disability Inclusion in Disaster Risk Management – Promising practices and opportunities for enhanced engagement https://www.gfdrr.org/sites/default/files/GFDRR%20Disability%20inclusion%20in%20DRM%20Report_F.PDF
- Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Network http://www.didrrn.net/home/
- Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015- 2030 http://www.unisdr.org/we/inform/publications/43291
- Major Hazards and People with Disabilities https://www.coe.int/t/dg4/majorhazards/ressources/pub/MajorHazards_Disability_2014_en.pdf
- CBM https://www.cbm.org/in-action/humanitarian-action/
- Humanity & Inclusion https://www.hi-us.org
- Humanitarian Hands on Tool- Guidance on Inclusive Humanitarian Field Work Step-by-step practical guidance on inclusive humanitarian field work https://hhot.cbm.org
- “Up in the Air”: FEMA looks at the impact of Home Elevation on Accessibilityhttp://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/108162
- The Right to be Rescued https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLaYgKAZMUNMwaZ6tOcSYZhMOhCEfbgG2V&feature=player_embedded&v=vSGxW1uh8Pw
- Shakeout – Five Videos for People with Access and Functional Needs https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLn6qonhKC3oKFFLM6Hkl-RQJRhpeQzEB5
- Autism and First Responders: Seeing Beyond the Smoke http://www.temple.edu/instituteondisabilities/news/topstories/201407/firstResponders201407.shtml
- Hurricanes: CDC public service announcement videos – American Sign Language (ASL)https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/psa/index.html
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