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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Integrating Disability into Emergency Management – A Blueprint to Saving Lives in the Community

The NCIL Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee is honored to present at the 2018 Annual Conference on Independent Living. Our Pre-Conference session will be held from 2:00-3:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 22.

2017 was unprecedented in the number and severity of disasters in our country. The disability community was disproportionately impacted because we, and local and state emergency managers and society in general, have not acted upon the lessons we have observed from previous disasters by implementing practices, policies, and procedures to better prepare our response. Natural disasters are more intense, and human-caused disasters more frequent. If people with disabilities are to survive these disasters with less damage to us and our community, we must take action now! To paraphrase Justin Dart, “we must get involved as if our lives depended on it.” The NCIL Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee will discuss promising practices regarding developing strategies to integrate disability into emergency management in your community. In preparation for our pre-conference session, we encourage everyone to read:

Getting It Wrong: An Indictment with a Blueprint for Getting It Right

Disability Rights, Obligations and Responsibilities Before, During and After Disasters 

This is an After Action Report (AAR) and an unvarnished account of the devastation from poor planning and failed execution throughout the 2017- 2018 disasters as reported by people with disabilities and allies with first-hand knowledge. The report also documents promising and good practices that can be refined, customized, and replicated. Most importantly, it contains recommendations for “getting it right” before the next disasters strike. This AAR was developed by The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies. Its Authors are: Marcie Roth; June Isaacson Kailes; and Melissa Marshall, J.D. Both Marcie Roth and June Kailes are members of the Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee of the National Council on Independent Living and will also be presenting the pre-conference session. The Subcommittee is pleased to share this incredibly important document with you and encourages everybody with a disability, their family members, caregivers, and service providers to study it. Our civil rights are being violated every day. There are times when these violations are life threatening. This is never more true than during and after disaster when our lives, our communities and our support systems are precariously disrupted.  The NCIL Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee believes that Centers for Independent Living, Statewide Independent Living Councils and Independent Living associations should become involved in emergency management because we will all be affected by a disaster or an emergency at some point.

We look forward to seeing you in July!

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