California in Back to Back States of Emergency

Amid battling COVID-19, Governor Newsom declared another State of Emergency in California as a result of several wildfires burning throughout the state. Evacuations have been ordered in several areas and evacuees are being directed to temporary evacuation points where the Red Cross is assessing needs and trying to find motel rooms for people to stay in. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services is making every effort to shelter evacuees in non-congregate settings to minimize the risk of spreading COVID. However, Cal OES reports that traditional shelter will be used if needed but only as a last resort.

Emergency personnel are warning people not to wait, if you live or work near an area that is under an evacuation order you should be prepared to leave. There is no universal alert system in California at this time, but each community has policies and procedure for notifying residents of pending evacuations. One of the best ways to find out what the alert or notification system is in your community is to call you county office of emergency services and ask what their specific alert system is and how to sign up for alerts. Some, but not all, counties also have opt-in programs for people with Access and Functional Needs so it is important to ask if your county has specialized services. If you rely on public transit or paratransit it is critical to have a back-up plan in the event of an evacuation order.

Disability Disaster Access and Resources is a program of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers and they have developed a website dedicated to disaster preparedness and recovery. This website has a lot a very good information and resources that are specific and accessible for people with disabilities

Stay Safe and Healthy!



ASSEMBLY BILL 911; 911 Services: Elder Adults & Persons with I/DD

Assembly Member Freddie Rodriguez GETS IT!!! He has a long history in emergency services and as an Emergency Medical Tech he knows just how critical the interactions between first responders and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can be. He has introduced, AB 911; 911 Services: Elder Adults and Persons with Disabilities with the intent of establishing a statewide 911 emergency communication system under the California Office of Emergency Services that would enable older adults, individuals with disabilities, and other at-risk persons to voluntarily provide vital health and safety information to enable first responders to better assist the public during an accident or emergency. Some of the voluntary information could include types of disabilities, signals of distress, and other critical conditions—for first responders to access in advance of a crisis. The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration is a co-sponsor of the bill and we THANK Assembly Member Rodriquez and look forward to working with him, his staff, United Domestic Workers as the other co-sponsor and other stakeholders to develop and strengthen public safety policies that can better serve people with I/DD in the community.