Update: Portlight Responds to Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Now Maria

Sep 22, 2017 -- Posted by : admin

Greetings to our friends, supporters and everyone impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria over the past 4 weeks:

Thanks to your generous and ongoing support, Portlight Strategies and the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies have assisted many thousands of hurricane survivors with disabilities, older adults, their families and their communities.

Our hotline has been active around the clock with callers in immediate need of assistance. We have maintained a resolution rate of ~85% of calls at all times, responding to callers the same day in most cases, providing assistance, referrals and solutions to thousands of complex and urgent disability related needs.

Our knowledgeable volunteers include native Spanish speakers and we are grateful to the Alliance Center for Independence for providing a hotline volunteer who is available for hotline callers using videophone. Thanks to everyone who has responded to our call for volunteers. At the moment, we need more native signers with use of a videophone and Spanish speakers and with knowledge of emergency management programs and disability advocacy and services experience.

Thanks to your generosity, we have provided financial and material support to disability led organizations in all of the affected states and continue to assist individuals with disability related immediate needs in TX, FL, USVI and Puerto Rico. Our “Wish List” has enabled any of you to assist children with disabilities to replace basic needs, school uniforms and school supplies. Trach Mommas of LA and the Pass It On Center continue building out their capacity to meet the disability related medical supply, assistive device and medical equipment needs of disaster survivors, supporting local and state efforts to replace needed items lost or damaged.

In addition to the very specific assistance we are providing to individuals and families, our daily collaboration meetings continue to bring disability leaders, community organizations, local, state and federal government representatives, Red Cross and other stakeholders together to identify issues and solve urgent problems.

We maintain our focus on advocacy and policy, as well. On September 20th, our President, Paul Timmons, provided testimony to the US Senate Special Committee on Aginghttps://www.aging.senate.gov/hearings/disaster-preparedness-and-response-the-special-needs-of-older-americans and we are working closely with many media outlets who are telling the stories of children and adults with disabilities and the disproportionate impact they experience when community planning is inadequate and emergency programs are not accessible to all.

Thank you for your support and partnership.

Portlight Strategies


The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies


HOTLINE: (800) 626-4959


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