ILRU: Disaster Hotline – The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies

The IL-NET National Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA) Center at ILRU is providing support to centers for independent living and statewide independent living councils as we all navigate the unprecedented times of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are sharing the resource below in support of the communities you serve. Please email us at ilru@ilru.org with examples of how you are communicating with consumers in your communities and the resources you have found helpful. Visit the ILRU Resources on COVID-19 webpage for daily updates.

Disaster Hotline: (800) 626-4959 / info@disasterstrategies.org

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In light of limitations of response capabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hotline will provide remote technical assistance and attempt to engage local solutions through our vast relationships.

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies (The Partnership) is the nation’s only disability-led organization with a mission of equal access to emergency and disaster programs before, during and after disasters for people with disabilities. We are the nation’s experts on disability rights, accessibility and inclusion throughout all phases of disaster and emergency operations.

The Partnership’s Disaster Hotline provides information, referrals, guidance, technical assistance and resources to people with disabilities, their families, allies, organizations assisting disaster impacted individuals with disabilities and others seeking assistance with immediate and urgent disaster related needs.

The Disaster Hotline is always available for intake calls, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at (800) 626-4959 and info@disasterstrategies.org.

We will have our knowledgeable team respond to your call as soon as possible, often immediately, and we intend to respond to all callers within 24 hours. Our hotline team is led by experts on the many issues affecting people with disabilities in disasters and how to meet those immediate needs. We can provide accessible and multilingual information to callers, including via videophone for Deaf callers, upon request.

What Issues do we provide information, guidance, technical assistance and referrals for?

  • Urgent and immediate disability related disaster response needs, including lifesaving and life sustaining immediate needs.
  • Prevention of institutionalization during and after disasters.
  • Applying for, understanding and navigating FEMA and other federal, state and local government emergency and disaster programs and services.
  • Disability rights before, during and after disasters.
  • Accessible and actionable emergency information.
  • Building and neighborhood evacuation.
  • Accessible transportation.
  • Sheltering and temporary housing.
  • Disaster housing programs.
  • Alternatives to “special needs” and “medical” sheltering and “special needs” and “voluntary” registries.
  • Health maintenance.
  • Health care access.
  • Disability accommodations in disasters.
  • Repair, replacement and loaned durable medical equipment, disability supplies, and assistive devices.
  • Returning home, school, work and community after a disaster.
  • Navigating disaster recovery initiatives.
  • Disaster funding.
  • Connecting with mutual aid networks.
  • Connecting with local community supports.

Who Should Contact the Disaster Hotline?

  • Disaster impacted individuals with disabilities, their families and allies.
  • Disability advocacy and services organizations.
  • Community organizations seeking to assist disaster impacted individuals with disabilities.
  • Government and non-government representatives from emergency management, public health, medical, private sector, business, voluntary organizations active in disasters, faith-based, elected officials and others seeking to assist individuals with disabilities and disaster impacted communities.
  • Media inquiries.
  • Donors and others who seek to support our work.

During the COVID-19 pandemic our response capabilities are limited, the Hotline will provide remote technical assistance and attempt to engage local solutions through our vast relationships.

The Partnership’s continual focus is on all disasters and public health emergencies. In addition to the direct assistance provided to callers, our focus during COVID-19 is on:

  • Rights and immediate needs of people with disabilities who need supports and services to protect themselves from exposure.
  • People with disabilities who are in quarantine.
  • People with disabilities who are in isolation or in an acute care medical setting.
  • Information for medical, public health, and public safety officials, government and non-government, and private sector entities to understand their obligations to people with disabilities, before, during, and after public health emergencies and disasters.
  • Meeting continuity of operations and continuity of services for serving people with disabilities across the lifecycle and throughout the disaster cycle.
  • Public engagement, coordination between all public and NGO stakeholders to provide accessible information, promising and good practices, and problem-solving via disability accessible teleconference and web-based information sharing.
  • Crisis counseling and Disaster Case Management for people with disabilities, eligible as a result of Federal Disaster Declarations.

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