10501 Trade Court
Richmond, Virginia 23226
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 24, 2015
CONTACT: Susan Mongold
Workshop Aims to Improve Emergency Preparedness and Response for those with Access & Functional Needs
RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), Portlight Strategies Inc. and the Hampton Roads Regional Catastrophic Planning Team is hosting the state’s first workshop devoted to improving all aspects of emergency preparedness and response for those with access and functional needs.
“Catastrophic disasters like hurricanes Sandy and Katrina have brought attention to the needs of the most vulnerable populations,” said State Coordinator Dr. Jeff Stern. “This workshop will help us to improve the way we plan for and respond to the needs of older Virginians, people with disabilities and their families.”
The two-day “Getting It Right” workshop held today and tomorrow at the Marriott City Center in Newport News brings together representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), American Red Cross, disability stakeholder organizations, and those involved in the recent litigation of the Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled v. City of New York to discuss how individuals with access and functional needs can receive equal access to programs, services and activities related to emergencies and disasters. Workshop participants include state and local emergency management professionals, city and county administrators and attorneys, and disability advocates. Portlight Strategies Inc. has presented similar “Getting It Right” workshops in New Jersey, Georgia and South Carolina.
“The Hampton Roads Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Team is excited about bringing this workshop to Virginia,” said Isle of Wight County Emergency Management Coordinator and Regional Catastrophic Planning Team Chairperson Andrea Clontz. “Emergency and shelter planning presents a complex set of issues that must be addressed correctly so that every citizen in our locality is treated with respect and dignity. We hope this workshop will increase our skills and resources to inclusively plan for the needs of all citizens.”
After the workshop, Portlight Strategies Inc. will post the presentations from the various speakers and links to videos produced at the workshop to their Getting It Right – Hampton Roads web page at http://www.portlight.org/hampton-roads-getting-it-right-workshop.html. These videos will also be posted to YouTube and will include closed caption and a sign language interpreter.
Be ready. Be willing to help.
Virginia Disaster Relief Fund
How is the money distributed?
Fund proceeds will be distributed to local long-term recovery groups, members of the Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and other non-profit and faith-based organizations as a grant.
Many of these groups work directly with individuals and families following a disaster.
How else can I donate?
The Virginia Disaster Relief Fund benefits projects that include: repair or rebuilding of underinsured dwellings, transportation assistance, replacing essential household items, helping renters establish new rental residence, temporary living expenses while recovering from loss, and more.
How can I donate?
If you want to help, send checks made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia with “Virginia Disaster Relief Fund” noted in the memo line to:
P.O. Box 1971
Richmond, VA 23218-1971