August 17, 2023
Source: National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC)
Our thoughts are with the families impacted by wildfires on the island of Maui, particularly people living in Lahaina. While authorities work to control wildfires, people in the affected communities are beginning the arduous task of recovery. This includes people with disabilities, who may need to find accessible temporary housing, replace assistive devices or medical equipment, and eventually rebuild or find new homes. These resources have information or services which may be able help:
- Check with your state’s Assistive Technology (AT) Project for information and resources to repair or replace assistive devices. They may also have information on device loan and financial support for AT repair or replacement.
- Search for AT Reuse Centers in the area.
- Medicare may cover repair or replacement of some durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs and supplies.
- Independent Living Centers and Aging and Disability Resource Centers can connect people with disabilities and caregivers to resources for housing, financial assistance, social services, and more. Bear in mind that some centers may be impacted by the same emergency and may not be able to respond immediately.
- Begin the process of applying for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
For those not immediately impacted by this emergency, now may be a good time to put a plan in place for the future events, from local incidents to national disasters. These resources from the NIDILRR community and elsewhere may help you and your family prepare so you can safely shelter in place or evacuate as events unfold.
- Learn about Emergency Preparedness and the ADA – Important Considerations for People with Disabilities and Service Providers.
- Explore Resources on Safe Wheelchair Transfer and Wheelchair Maintenance including a free course on the basics of wheelchair maintenance.
- Use this Emergency Power Planning Checklist if you use electricity-dependent assistive or medical devices.
- Create and review checklists for your home, your family, yourself, and your service animals or pets with Prepared Lifestyle.
- Review AT Tips for Emergency Prep.
- Visit Ready.gov for many tools, guides, and other resources, including resources geared toward people with disabilities.
- If you live in a rural community like Lahaina, share the Rural Emergency Preparedness Toolkit with organizations in your area, so everyone can be #Ready.
If you are interested in learning more about additional resources or would like to learn about research in preparedness and disability, contact our information specialists.