Top of page
Disaster

FEMA taken steps toward better supporting individuals with disabilities

Elderly lady walks with walker in the sea

How did older people or those with disabilities fare immediately after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria?

Emergency managers and others told us it was sometimes difficult to locate these survivors and provide the help many needed to find food, medicine, and oxygen. Further, FEMA’s application for assistance contained disability questions that were easily misinterpreted. This may have led to fewer people reporting their disabilities—making it more difficult to help those in need.

In June 2018, FEMA started to shift responsibility for helping people with disabilities affected by disasters away from its staff trained on disability issues to all staff and to state, local, and nonprofit partners.

In our May 2019 report, we recommended, among other things, that FEMA develop plans to train its staff and nonfederal partners on disability issues.

We testified that FEMA has taken steps to implement some recommendations from our report, including planning training for its nonfederal partners on disability issues. However, as of July 2019, FEMA had no written plans to train its own staff.

FEMA has begun a new approach to helping people with disabilities.

You might also like

people on flooded street, inclusing a wheelchair user people on flooded street, inclusing a wheelchair user

Persons with disabilities and carers at more risk of homelessness after floods

People with disabilities and their carers experienced profound impact and…

New York Governor Kathy Hochul shows a signed package bill with a group New York Governor Kathy Hochul shows a signed package bill with a group

Gov. Hochul signs legislation package on anniversary of ADA

Governor Kathy Hochul today signed a legislative package that further upholds and…

Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs

Feds sue Chicago Cubs alleging Wrigley Field renovations violate ADA

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of…

Rear view of African young disabled men visiting training class and people clapping him Rear view of African young disabled men visiting training class and people clapping him

One-on-one support for emergency planning

Council is partnering with CFA and Red Cross to host…