BILOXI, Miss. – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate today addressed the Inclusive Hurricane Preparedness Conference on the importance of coordinating across all levels of government, with the private sector, non-profit organizations and the general public, in preparing for the upcoming hurricane season. Fugate also discussed ways the agency is working with its partners to ensure the full integration of people with disabilities, access and functional needs into all aspects of disaster preparedness, response and recovery activities.
“We’re moving forward to aggressively prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, but FEMA is only part of the team,” said Fugate. “We can only be as prepared as the public, and it’s important that everyone living in a hurricane-prone area take steps to prepare and protect their family. As part of our outreach, FEMA is working collaboratively with state and local governments and the private sector to ensure their plans consider everyone with access and functional needs in the overall preparedness and response structure.”
FEMA is helping to lead a change in the way the emergency management community addresses the needs of the traditionally underserved disability community. The agency created the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC), to provide guidance, tools, methods and strategies to integrate and coordinate emergency management efforts to meet the needs of all citizens, including children and adults with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
The Inclusive Hurricane Preparedness Conference is hosted by EnableUS and the Community Emergency Preparedness Information Network (CEPIN), and brings together emergency management and disability stakeholders from hurricane prone states to discuss the latest issues in preparing and responding to vulnerable populations during hurricanes.
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