Currently, people with disabilities and older adults are 2-4 times as likely to be institutionalized, injured, or die during a disaster.
On November 29th, Sen. Bob Casey introduced S.3679 the READI for Disasters Act with co-sponsors: Sens. Klobuchar (MN), Duckworth (IL), Blumenthal (CT), Van Hollen (MD), Murray (WA), and Hassan (NH) which creates a network of centers focused on research, training and technical assistance; establishes a commission on disability rights and disasters to study access and functional needs; and examines how the civil rights of people with disabilities and older adults are impacted.
United Spinal Association supports the READI for Disasters Act because it will establish a National Commission on Disability Rights and Disasters to study the needs of individuals with disabilities, older adults, and others with access and functional needs during emergency and disaster preparation and planning and throughout disaster response, recovery and mitigation.
With the passage and implementation of the READI for Disasters Act, people with disabilities and older adults will no longer be disproportionately affected by the disruptions experienced when disaster strikes.
Communities will be far better prepared to optimize limited resources and maximize positive outcomes for the whole community. A well-designed and accessible system, put into place well before the next disaster strikes, will be more responsive, more effective, and more cost-efficient, significantly improving community readiness, resilience and disaster recovery for everyone.