Emergency Planning Information

Report
Emergency Preparedness for the Disabled
Presenter
Edward L. Myers
Deputy Executive Director
Arizona Center for Disability Law
Emergency Planning Information

The purpose of this training is to provide
general information regarding the special
education process. It is not intended as a
substitute to legal advice.

Federal and state law can change at
anytime, so please stay abreast to
possible changes to the law.
Federal Laws

(ADA - Title II) American’s with Disabilities Act
Title for public services

(ADA - Title III) American’s with Disabilities Act
Title for public accommodations

(Section 504) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation
Act of 1973

(FEMA) Federal Emergency Management Agency
under the Homeland Security Act of 2002
Prohibition of discrimination under Title II
and Title III of the ADA and Section 504
The ADA is a comprehensive mandate
designed to eliminate both “outright
intentional exclusion” and
“the discriminatory effects of architectural,
transportation, and communication
barriers, overprotective rules and policies,
and failure to make modifications to
existing facilities and practices.
STRATEGIES FOR A SUCCESSFUL
EMERGENCY PLAN
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND PLANNING MUST INCLUDE
CERTAIN ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS, SUCH AS PROVISION FOR
SHELTER AND CARE FOR PEOPLE FORCED TO EVACUATE THEIR
HOMES, PUBLIC NOTIFICATION AND COMMUNICATION BEFORE
AND DURING EMERGENCIES, AS WELL AS ASSISTANCE WITH
EVACUATION AND TRANSPORTATION FROM AFFECTED AREAS.
…AND REASONABLE MODIFICATIONS NECESSARY TO AVOID
DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF A DISABILITY.
9 STEP PLAN FOR NYC: BUILDS
UPON FRAMEWORK ALREADY IN
PLACE TO INCLUDE PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES
Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled v. Bloomberg
(Mayor), 2011 WL 4445718 (S.D.N.Y. 2011).
Comprehensive plans are already in place; but fail to allow
for the disability community to participate in assessments
and tests, provide input, and find out how to prepare based
on (a) how they will be notified, (b) how they will be
evacuated, and (c) which shelters are accessible.
STEP 1: COMPREHENSIVE PLANS
DESIGNED FOR HURRICANES,
BLIZZARDS OR TERRORIST ATTACKS
TO INCLUDE THE DISABLED
STEP 2: ASSESSMENTS OF THESE
PLANS TO INCLUDE THE DISABLED
Resources should include life saving medications, DME,
consumable medical supplies and the number of accessible
seats available on evacuation busses. Public Notice should
include sign language and captioning.
STEP 3: ADVANCED IDENTIFICATION
OF NEEDS AND RESOURCES
INCLUDING THOSE OF THE DISABLED
STEP 4: PUBLIC NOTICE PRIOR TO,
DURING AND AFTER AN
EMERGENCY SO EVERYONE
UNDERSTANDS
City policy implies persons should have enough food, water,
medicine, and other supplies to survive on their own for three
days. Persons with disabilities may be dependent on electricity
for respirators, wheelchairs or other assistive technologies
which, during power-outages, means persons with disabilities
may require immediate assistance.
STEP 5: POLICY TO “SHELTER IN
PLACE” FOR UP TO 3 DAYS
STEP 6: SHELTER AND CARE FOR
THOSE WHO MUST BE EVACUATED
Persons with disabilities know very little or nothing of the City's
emergency plans. They do not know, for instance, how they will
be notified, how and if they will be evacuated, which shelters
are accessible, how and if they will be transported and what
assistance, if any, they will receive.
STEP 7: ASSISTANCE WITH
EVACUATION & TRANSPORTATION
STEP 8: TEMPORARY HOUSING FOR
WHO CANNOT RETURN HOME
STEP 9: PROVISION OF RECOVERY &
REMEDIATION AFTERWARD
“Lessons Learned from the World Trade Center:
Emergency Preparedness for People with
Disabilities in New York.”
THE REPORT
REACHED SEVERAL
• Emergency responders, as well as relief and other service
agencies, must incorporate into their planning and
operations an appropriate strategy for ensuring equitable
access to response and recovery services for people with
disabilities;
KEY CONCLUSIONS
IGNORED BY THE
CITY OF NEW YORK
AND ITS MAYOR.
• Relief agencies cannot wait until they are in the middle of
a disaster to start training their staff in disability awareness;
• The day after a disaster is too late for agencies to start
doing outreach to make their services known to people
with disabilities; and
• During the recovery phase, there must be a priority to
restore or address those services and needs most critical to
people with disabilities, especially related to access to
home attendants, assistive equipment, medication,
accessible transportation and temporary shelter, and food
delivery.
Preparation is the Foundation for
success
Do emergency preparedness programs adequately serve
the needs of the more than 800,000 individuals with
disabilities who live within L.A.?
LOS ANGELES
COMMUNITIES ACTIVELY LIVING INDEP. & FREE V. CITY OF
LOS ANGELES, CV 09-0287 CBM RZX, 2011 WL 4595993
(C.D. CAL. FEB. 10, 2011).
Across the San Francisco Bay….Since 1983, Oakland
experienced eight presidential-declared disasters, including
earthquakes and storms. The disasters destroyed many
homes and disproportionately affect the disabled who
suffer greater loss when there is a lack of electricity, due to
reliance on assistive technology.
OAKLAND
CALIFORNIA FOUNDATION OF INDEPENDENT LIVING
CENTERS V. OAKLAND, 2010 WL 3213645 (N.D.CAL. 2010)
Marshalls customer in a wheelchair was trapped in the mall
during a fire alarm, because the Mall's elevators were
inoperable due to the emergency. The Marshalls
evacuation policy should have been modified to give the
customer an operable exit from the store.
BUSINESSES
SAVAGE V. CITY PLACE LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, 2004 WL
3045404 (2004) (NOT REPORTED IN A.2D).
Unacceptable Reasons for Not
Implementing Equality in Emergency
Preparedness

Lack of staff to implement the level of
services

Lack of staff to implement related
services

Lack of resources and personnel or
expertise

Change in philosophy
For More Information
 Arizona Center for Disability Law
5025 E. Washington St. Suite, 202
Phoenix, AZ 85034
602-274-6287 (voice / TTY)
1-800-927-2260 (toll free)
MTTHF from 9:00am to 1:00pm
www.azdisabilitylaw.org

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