Dear Friends,

We are watching the hurricane advisory for the Gulf Coast very closely and ask that you join us to make sure that people with disabilities, older adults and others with access and functional needs are squarely at the center of all planning and throughout disaster response and recovery if needed.

Louisiana’s governor has already declared a state of emergency, New Orleans has begun flooding, evacuation has begun and torrential rainfall is predicted throughout the Gulf states. Forecasters say this storm could strengthen into a hurricane by the weekend.

Given the potential for extreme weather, and the lack of disability-inclusive disaster preparedness progress made by federal government planners since last year’s catastrophic hurricanes and wildfires, Portlight and the Partnership have boosted the capacity of our Disaster Hotline and our deployment teams. We are already planning with our longstanding partners, including Trach Mommas and Triton Relief in the Gulf and we are all ready to coordinate rescue and distribute medical equipment, disability supplies, and assistive devices when necessary. We also plan to move from weekly stakeholder calls to daily calls if needed to ensure maximum communication among stakeholders.

Portlight and the Partnership are committed to optimizing outcomes for disaster-impacted children and adults with disabilities, older adults and others with access and functional needs. We persist in the face of inadequate planning, non-compliance with civil rights obligations, a lack of funding and continued denial of federal government assistance in supporting local disability organizations and service providers.

We will continue to offer our support, resources, and expertise to assist government leaders to meet their obligations. We welcome every opportunity to work together in support of disaster-impacted individuals and communities. We will not wait for local and state partners seeking our help to fail before stepping in. Our work is ALWAYS in support of local leadership and our resources are ALWAYS invested in supporting their capacity to meet the needs of their community.

The Partnership also continues leading disability-inclusive disaster policy and legislative initiatives to drive solutions that improve disability inclusive emergency preparedness, and disaster outcomes. To learn more about the REAADI for Disasters Act and the Disaster Relief Medicaid Act, please visit www.reaadi.com

We need your help!

Please continue to support our efforts throughout the 2019 hurricane season and the many other hazards our communities face all throughout the year. More than ever, we need your financial support and will always use your generous contributions to support local disability organizations and assist disaster-impacted people.

Visit us at www.portlight.org and www.disasterstrategies.org to make your donation via PayPal. You can also send your contributions to us at:

PO Box 339
St Helena Island, SC 29920

We appreciate your partnership and your generosity!


Marcie Roth