Emergency Response for People with Disabilities
As became clear in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, disaster response is unfortunately not adequate to meet the need. This became especially disturbing when many people with disabilities were abandoned in a nursing facility, left to their fate in the flood. Disaster preparedness for people with disabilities has become a national priority. The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and the Red Cross have made cooperative agreements with the National Disability Rights Network and the National Council on Independent Living to work on this priority.
In Washington State, emergency management agencies have begun the process of working with DSHS, service organizations, and disability advocates to prepare for emergencies and disasters.
DRW plans to work in coalition with partners to improve disaster preparedness in the future. DRW has also been looking at emergency plans in cities and counties across the State, and how they plan for people disabilities. If you have questions or concerns about yours, please contact us.