Disability and Disaster News

BREAKING NEWS

10/29/19

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies is featured in the National Bahamian News, ZNS - go to 41:56 - 45:29 in the 10/29/19 morning news segment.

10/2/19

Portlight and Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies are gearing up to deploy Germán Parodi and Shaylin Sluzalis to the Bahamas to help our disabled neighbors still struggling a month after Hurricane Dorian struck. We've been closely working with Trach Mommas of Louisiana and Triton Relief Group, and locally in the Bahamas 242 Disability, a disability led advocacy group. We have pallets of identified requested medical items, but there's more people need! You can help in multiple ways by:

Making a monetary tax-deductible donation

Gift specific needed items from our growing Amazon Wish List

AND please share this through your family, friends, and colleagues- it is upon us all to be informed and Build back Better.

Your Partnership and support will ensure Bahamians with disabilities make it through this disaster with their independence. All you do is greatly appreciated! Our work is not possible without the generosity from people like you and our community.
We hold weekly National Stakeholders calls- if you'd like to learn more please don't hesitate to email back dart@disasterstrategies.org.
Again, muchas gracias for your continuous support for the Freedom and Independence of all people with disabilities.

9/6/19

US AND BAHAMAS HURRICANE DORIAN URGENT UPDATE – HOW YOU CAN HELP HURRICANE SURVIVORS WITH DISABILITIES

Click Here to Donate

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

9/2/19

HURRICANE DORIAN URGENT UPDATE

Click Here to Donate

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!

Please support:

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

Portlight Website

Partnership Website

7/31/19

How FEMA Struggles to Help People with Disabilities During Disasters

7/23/19

United States House of Representatives, Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery

Hearing on:

PROTECTING EVERY CITIZEN: ASSESSING EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FOR UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS

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Do you have a disaster story to tell?

Click here to share your story with Canada to Key West

Canada To Key West


6/14/19

Florida Congresswoman Donna Shalala: Seniors Should Have Access to Medicaid After Evacuating States For Natural Disasters

6/11/19

REAADI & DRMA Introduction:

Press Release from Senator Casey (D-PA):

Government Report and Bipartisan Legislation Call for More Action on Disaster Preparedness

Press Release from Congressman Langevin (D-RI):

Langevin Legislation Calls for More Inclusive Disaster Preparation

Press Release from Congressman Smith (R-NJ):

Smith leads on Real Emergency Access for Aging and Disability Inclusion (REAADI) disaster response bill

Press Release from Congresswoman Shalala (D-FL):

Spanish:

La Representante Shalala introduce la Ley de Medicaid para Alivio de Desastres

English:

Rep. Shalala Introduces Disaster Relief Medicaid Act

6/3/19

-GAO: FEMA Action Needed to Better Support Individuals Who are Older or Have Disabilities

-The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies statement on GAO’s report highlighting FEMA failures to hurricane impacted people with disabilities and older adults.

-GAO Report Fact Sheet

5/24/19

- NCD: Preserving Our Freedom: Ending Institutionalization of People with Disabilities During and After Disasters.


2019 Partnership Newsletters

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Partnership in the News

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

  • 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.
  • 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 Civil Rights Complaint September 21st

Sep 21, 2018, 9:44 PM

In 2007, the US Department of Justice instructed state and local governments in their ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments, Chapter 7 that “The ADA requires people with disabilities to be accommodated in the most integrated…

Media Advocacy Alert: Join The Partnership in Responding to the Preventable Deaths of Windy Newton and Nicolette Green.

Sep 20, 2018, 11:33 PM

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies team is reeling from the news of the deaths of Windy Newton and Nicolette Green, two women with mental health disabilities, who died while being evacuated by the Horry County Sheriff’s Office in South…

CCD Emergency Management Letter of Concern to DHS

Aug 13, 2018, 3:14 PM

Dear Secretary Nielsen The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) is the largest coalition of national organizations working together to advocate for Federal public policy that ensures the self-determination, independence, empowerment,…

Integrating Disability Into Emergency Management: A Blueprint for Saving Lives

Jul 22, 2018, 8:27 PM

Beyond the Rhetoric – Making it Real Integrating Disability Into Emergency Management – A Blueprint to Saving Lives in the Community: 2018 Annual Conference on Independent Living National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) July 22, 2018, 2:00 -…

Partnership releases 2017-2018 After Action Report

May 24, 2018, 6:11 PM

Getting It Wrong: An Indictment with a Blueprint for Getting It Right Disability Rights, Obligations and Responsibilities Before, During and After Disasters Edition 1; May 2018 This After Action Report is an unvarnished account of the devastation…

Getting it Right 2018 National Inclusive Disaster Strategies Conference

Jan 23, 2018, 6:04 PM

The focus of Getting it Right is on expanding our shared commitment to achieving and maintaining disability inclusive whole community emergency preparedness, community resilience, response, recovery and mitigation before, during and after disasters.

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies Update

Dec 12, 2017, 6:23 PM

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies (the Partnership) and Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies (Portlight) have continued our active support for disaster impacted individuals and communities throughout the catastrophic storms and…

Update: Portlight Responds to Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey

Sep 30, 2017, 3:38 PM

We Need Your Continued Support! Greetings to our friends, supporters and everyone impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria over the past 33 days.

Update: Portlight Responds to Hurricane Harvey and Prepares for Hurricane Irma

Sep 6, 2017, 8:18 PM

Thanks to your generous support over the past ten days, Portlight Strategies and the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies have assisted thousands of hurricane Harvey survivors with disabilities, their families and good people trying to help…

UPDATE: Responding to Hurricane Harvey and Catastrophic Flooding

Aug 28, 2017, 2:54 PM

Hurricane Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but has stalled over the Metro Houston area, bringing as much as 23 inches of rain in the 24 hour period between early evening Saturday and early Sunday evening.

September 20th 2016

Oct 28, 2016, 4:42 PM

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, a clearinghouse for information and a community organizing resource on the needs of people with disabilities within disaster planning, has been announced.

October 4th, 2016

Oct 26, 2016, 12:22 PM

NOW is the time to prepare east coasters! Check your emergency kit supplies. Full your car with gas. Make sure you enough food and water to last you and your family for 3 days. Figure out where you will go if you need to evacuate and leave early.…

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