In 2012, Superstorm Sandy resulted in the displacement of many individuals with disabilities in New Jersey because of power outages and unlivable homes. As a result, individuals with disabilities as well as families and first responders became acutely aware of the need to effectively plan for emergencies.
Disability Rights NJ has been actively working with emergency management officials at the local, state and federal level to ensure that individuals with disabilities are included in emergency preparedness planning. Due to our role with these entities, Disability Rights NJ is able to keep current and provide information to its constituents regarding emergency preparedness activities. For example, here are excellent resources that help people with disabilities and their families/ guardians plan for an emergency.
This website, which is operated by the NJ Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) allows New Jersey residents with disabilities or access and functional needs and their families, friends, caregivers and associates an opportunity to provide information to emergency response agencies so emergency responders can better plan to serve them in a disaster or other emergency.
In addition to the “Register Ready,” NJOEM also offers helpful suggestions on how to prepare for emergency situations. http://ready.nj.gov/plan-prepare/your-kit-plan.shtml
2020 offered a different emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic. Disabilities Rights NJ has actively engaged with state officials to address issues that have arisen that specifically affect individuals with disabilities including rationing of care, visitation policy for people with disabilities in hospitals and addressing the needs of residents in long-term care facilities.