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Walmart Foundation Commits $500,000 to Improving Emergency Preparedness for the 54 Million Americans with Disabilities
Date:7/9/2009

enable EPI to:

  • Revise and improve educational and training materials;
  • Reach out to more states, counties and localities;
  • Expand its network of advocacy organizations;
  • Increase its outreach activities for people with disabilities; and
  • Increase awareness nationwide on this critical issue.

EPI has worked to bridge the divide between the disability and emergency preparedness communities through its award-winning "Partners in Preparation" outreach campaign, the establishment of the first-ever disability-preparedness "Technical Assistance, Outreach and Education Center" and individual-level training on preparedness for 4,500 people in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, among other programs.

EPI's work and the need for its expertise were highlighted during the response to Hurricane Katrina, when EPI deployed teams to the region to perform an unprecedented special-needs assessment in a live disaster zone. EPI's work following Hurricane Katrina influenced legislative changes in the Post-Katrina Reform Act, including the establishment of a National Disability Coordinator position at FEMA.

In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security's Nationwide Plan Review revealed that no state or large metropolitan area had emergency plans in place to adequately address the needs of people with disabilities. In its assessment of disability issues in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, EPI's team found that 85.7 percent of community-based service providers for senior citizens and people with disabilities did not know how to access the emergency management system before the disaster.

"Emergency preparedness for the disabled concerns all Americans, because anyone can join the disability community in an instant," said Hilary Styron, EPI National Director. "While we have come a
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SOURCE National Organization on Disability
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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