Planning for Special Needs of Vulnerable Populations During Disasters

0817Seminar_Vulnerable Populations Stephanie Brady

Nearly 100 people from across the county and state attended a seminar presented by the JCDEM to address the needs of vulnerable populations during all phases of emergency operations – planning and preparation, response and recovery. Washington State law (RCW) now requires caregiver service providers to design specific plans, in cooperation with local emergency management and community advocacy groups, to safeguard the welfare of their consumers. 

Speakers included Stephanie Brady, an active part of the recovery efforts following the devastating 2011 EF-5 tornado that destroyed 30% of Joplin Missouri that killed 162 people and injured more than 1,000 others. Brady provided insight on the damaging event itself and the take-aways learned to better prepare with access and functional needs in mind. She discussed processes and systems that went well and those that failed. Brady provided suggestions on important planning, communication and partnerships to have in place when an emergency occurs. 

Jane Meyer and other speakers from the Area Agency on Aging for Jefferson and Clallam Counties addressed Washington State laws and the responsibilities of those who care for the vulnerable in the event of a catastrophic incident. 

Alex Hatcher, from the Washington State Independent Living Council (SILC), presented “Inclusive Emergency Planning and Disability Integration.” She is the Disability Integration Manager for the Coalition on Inclusive Emergency Planning Program. Hatcher discussed how to identify partners that are available, provided suggestions on how to build relationships with disability community members and outlined inclusive strategies to build better planning, response and recovery. 

Fort Worden hosted the event at the Commons on April 14, 2017.


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