Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve Disaster Recovery for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate, including Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Representatives Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), introduced the “Real Emergency Access for Aging and Disability Inclusion for Disasters Act” (REAADI) on June 11 to improve disaster response and recovery for older Americans and people with disabilities.

The bill addresses many of the issues identified by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a report critical of FEMA’s track record in this area. If enacted, the legislation would establish a National Commission on Disability Rights and Disasters to make policy recommendations for disaster recovery at all levels of government, and it would create a network of training centers and a grant program for state and local governments to better involve and support seniors and people with disabilities during disasters. The bill also directs the Department of Justice to ensure past and future disaster recovery dollars are used in compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws.

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, a member of the NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition, spearheaded the bill, and NLIHC’s senior policy director Sarah Mickelson spoke in favor of the legislation at a media launch.

For more information on how to support REAADI, visit: https://reaadi.com/

You can read the bill text at: https://bit.ly/2WVFcA3

You can read the GAO report at: https://bit.ly/2MZnZB2