9/6/19

US AND BAHAMAS HURRICANE DORIAN URGENT UPDATE – HOW YOU CAN HELP HURRICANE SURVIVORS WITH DISABILITIES

Portlight Strategies and the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies are supporting the needs of Hurricane Dorian impacted people with disabilities and disability organizations as the hurricane continues to have a massive effect on millions of people from the Bahamas to North Carolina.

We continue to convene daily National Stakeholder Disaster Response Partners, including disability and disaster experts, community leaders, emergency managers, first responders, public health, government and non-government organizations and our allies for teleconferences, planning sessions, advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities and state-led initiatives in Dorian’s path throughout each day.

Our Disaster Hotline, 1-800-626-4959, has been assisting callers with disability-related evacuation, transportation, sheltering, disability equipment and supplies, health maintenance, and accessible communication needs and navigating complex and inaccessible disaster-related government programs and services.

Our Disability Access Response Team (DART) and our disability and medical equipment and supply resources are immediately available to all disaster impacted people with disabilities and disability organizations reaching out to us for assistance.

As Dorian finally moves out to sea, we are focusing on the life-sustaining needs of hurricane survivors with disabilities in North Carolina and the Bahamas. Along with our close partners, Triton Relief, Trach Mommas and the National Council on Independent Living, we have launched our disability-focused response on getting critically needed disability supplies to our partners on the ground.

We are very grateful to have restored communication with our Bahamas partner 242 Disability Organization, a Disabled Persons Organization providing direct services to people with disabilities on the islands of Grand Bahama, Abaco, Eleuthera, Bimini and the other islands within the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. We are learning from them about the horrific impact of the hurricane on all Bahamians and especially the disproportionate impact on people with disabilities. We have also received a list of urgently needed disability-related health and hygiene supplies.

We need your support more than ever!

Many of our supporters have asked how you can help support our work in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina AND in the Bahamas.

Here is what we need right now:

Financial assistance, donations of health and disability items that can be delivered to the people who most need them, and introductions to corporate and humanitarian relief initiatives underway, to ensure that people with disabilities have a real chance to benefit from their assistance.

We are focused on people who:

>can’t reach central distribution points due to debris, loss of mobility equipment, stamina, and deteriorating health

>don’t hear instructions through bullhorns or don’t understand what they are supposed to do to get help

>don’t need acute medical care but do need disability assistance, health, and medical supplies to maintain their health, safety, and independence

>may be left behind when resources are scarce may be stigmatized or marginalized when triage decisions are being made about limited resources.

If you would prefer to send your support via USPS mail, please use our mailing address:

P.O. Box 14109, Charleston, SC 29422