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Let’s Make A Plan! Training Manual

Nancy Svirida, Disability Law Center, May 2007

and private organizations and individuals in emergency preparedness planning


Facilitate cooperation among Federal, State, local and tribal governments and private organizations and individuals in the implementation of emergency preparedness plans as they relate to individuals with disabilities

Congress passed HR 5441 the FY 2007 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill5

Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Emergency Management at all Levels of Government

Appointment of National Disability Coordinator [check - to date, has not been appointed]

Post-disaster case management services

Inclusion of durable medical equipment as an “essential need” during a disaster [story of shelter after Franklin County flooding with no shower chair]

Child and family “Locator” systems

There are many layers of emergency planning: Individual; Caretakers; First Responders; Private Organizations; Local Governments and Agencies; State Government and Agencies; and the Federal Government and Agencies.  They don’t always talk to each other.

For example, Project Special Needs Assessment for Katrina Evacuees (SNAKE) run by the National Organization on Disability sent out teams to review service delivery to individuals with disabilities, seniors, and medically managed persons affected by Katrina.6  They found that 85.7% of community-based groups surveyed that provide services to these individuals did not now how to link with their emergency management system

Even if they did talk to each other, agencies don’t always understand individual needs.  For example, after Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Katrina and Rita evacuee with disabilities did not receive accessible FEMA trailers.  As described in the settlement of Brou v. FEMA, No. 06-0838 in the Eastern District of Louisiana, depending on their needs, individuals now may be entitled to a trailer with a ramp, wider doorways, more turn space for wheelchairs, lower appliances, sinks, and cabinets; accessible showers;

5 Adapted from Emergency Management: Preparedness, Relief and Recovery and People with Disabilities, presented on December 13, 2006 at the Emergency Preparedness and Response Conference for People with Disabilities, the Elderly, Pediatrics, and Animals by Janna Starr, Director of Disability Rights, Technology and Family Policy.

6 Report on Special Needs Assessment for Katrina Evacuees (SNAKE) Project, National Organization on Disability.

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