Post by: Kim Stephens
I would like to call your attention to a presentation published by FEMA last month titled: “Disability Inclusive Emergency Management: Understanding the preparedness, response and recovery needs of the whole community.”
The 54 page powerpoint includes definitions of access and functional needs, the language that should be used, Federal laws that prohibit discrimination, key principles, and examples of how to implement those key principles including, for instance, programmatic and communications access. It also addresses sheltering, housing and even how to exercise your plan.
Why is this so important? As noted in the presentation:
“My experience tells me if we wait and plan for people with disabilities after we write the basic plan, we fail.” Craig Fugate
Has your agency integrated the access and functional needs community into all phases of your community-wide emergency management plan? Do you see anything they missed? Let me know what you think.