WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate met today with officials from the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) at their annual conference to discuss ways that FEMA, NCIL, and state, local and private sector partners can ensure emergency management is inclusive of the community as a whole, including people with disabilities. FEMA and NCIL signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to coordinate public engagement efforts on preparedness, response, and recovery.
"As we approach the twentieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it's important to remember that while we've come a long way, there's still work to be done," said Fugate. "We will never be truly prepared and resilient as a country if we only plan for the easy parts of the population. FEMA is committed to working with state and local officials - and the general public - to ensure planning for emergencies includes the community as a whole."
The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990, and FEMA is planning a number of events this month to commemorate the 20th anniversary. On July 13, FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino traveled to the University of Massachusetts Boston for a conference on accommodating people with disabilities and the elderly during disaster response and recovery.
FEMA works regularly with state and local officials and has a number of initiatives to ensure people with disabilities are integrated into all levels of disaster planning. NCIL is a member organization that works to advance independent living and supports the interests of people with disabilities.
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FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.