Washington – The House passed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPAI) of 2019, legislation that strengthens emergency preparedness and response efforts and includes a bill offered by Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) to improve disaster planning for people with disabilities.
“As we begin another hurricane season, we’re reminded of the immense devastation natural disasters can cause,” said Langevin, co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus.
“The consequences are particularly dire for people with disabilities who face additional barriers to safety that often aren’t addressed in the emergency preparedness and response planning process. As someone who lives with a disability, I have experienced the frustration and uncertainty of that reality. No American should ever feel like they might be left behind or forgotten when disaster strikes. By including people with disabilities as advisors during disaster planning and policy development, this bill ensures that the unique needs of this vulnerable community will be included.”
Langevin’s advisory committee will support the work of the Department of Health and Human Service’s Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. The committee members will include representatives from federal agencies like FEMA as well as individuals with disabilities who have experience in disaster planning.