Whole Community: Individual Functional Needs (Disabled)

Our Position
Disaster_ManagementlargeThe nation learned a painful lesson in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina during which thousands of people with disabilities, seniors, and other vulnerable populations were left behind because no plans for their evacuation had been developed.  Since then, NDRN has been working to ensure that people with disabilities are never forgotten in an emergency again.  NDRN believes disaster management and emergency preparedness plans at the local, state and national level, as well as in the private sector, must include people with disabilities.

Taking Action
DM1MichaelRiegerFEMAIn March, NDRN signed a memorandum of agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that will strengthen the Network’s ability to collaborate with officials before, during and after an emergency and ensuring the needs and concerns of individuals with a disability are heard.  Read the agreement here.
Also in March, NDRN reached an agreement with the Red Cross to collaborate on issues affecting the disability community. Read that agreement here.

April 30, 2010: FEMA Intergovernmental Advisory FEMA Urges Residents to Get Ready for Hurricane Season
October 7, 2009 - 5 Things You Can Do to Help Prevent the Spread of the H1N1 and Seasonal Flu (Department of Health & Human Services) November 20, 2009: New resources on H1N1 for children and adults with disabilities from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Disability and the Centers for Disease Control.

Disaster Preparedness


    Disability and Emergency/Disaster Management

    56.4 million Americans have a disability (20% of the population)
    11 million people over age 6 need personal assistance with everyday activities

    Among individuals with disabilities 15 years old and over:

    o 16.1 million have a cognitive, intellectual or a mental health disability (over 7% of the population)
    o 2.5 million have difficulty having their speech understood
    o 1.8 million are unable to see printed words
    o 1 million are unable to hear conversations

     3.3 million people over the age of 14 use a wheelchair

    Federal Laws Prohibiting Discrimination in Emergency/Disaster Programs on the Basis of Disability:

     Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act, which revised the Stafford Act;
     Americans with Disabilities Act;
     Rehabilitation Act;
     Fair Housing Act;
     Architectural Barriers Act;
     Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; and
     Telecommunications Act.

    Each law above provides affirmative obligations and prohibitions of discrimination on the basis of disability.

    No state or local government, or its contractors, in providing services may, by law, policy, or contract, provide services below those standards without violating federal law.

  2. Fire Safety for People with Disabilities

    By the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) External Affairs Team
    Each year an estimated 2,655 deaths and 13,025 injuries occur as the result of residential building fires. The risk of death or injury from fire is even greater for people with physical, mental or sensory disabilities. Special populations such as people with disabilities, people who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who are visually impaired can significantly increase their chances of surviving a fire by practicing proven fire safety precautions. The United States Fire Administration (USFA) encourages individuals with special needs to read and use the following fire safety tips to help protect themselves and their homes from fire....

    Visit Disability.gov for more safety tips and emergency preparedness resources in your community.

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