~ MARCH 31, 2010 ~

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Welcome, everyone. I'm so glad

you're with us today.

I know that everybody's got all kinds of busy

schedules, and I appreciate you carving out the time to be

with us and talk about this very important topic.

This is a topic that honestly I was not -- and I

would say maybe four or five years ago is when I really

started getting very interested in this and really started

realizing the importance of this topic and how they really

do work well together when things are moving smoothly and

we understand more about the role of AT reuse in effective

emergency management.

And so there definitely is a place for AT reuse

within emergency management. And we're going to explore

with you some ideas around that and also some success

stories around that.

We've got Chris Brand who's with us. He's with

Friends of Disabled Adults and Children. He's the

executive director of that wonderful nonprofit which is

located here in Georgia.
We invited him to talk today not just because he's

right down the street from us and I'm a big fan of his work

but because he's done quite a bit in this area. And so

he's going to share some of his experiences and his story

with you. He's got a lot of photographs, so he'll describe

those as he goes through his presentation.

I also am happy that Amy Goldman and George Heake

are with us from Temple University. They're also with the

Pass It On Center. They're on the Pass It On Center team.

And so we're glad that they're with us today.

Before we go too far, I wanted to just give you a

brief orientation of the webinar room.

And so basically this is the webinar. If you look

over to the right of the upper right-hand corner, it says

"Public Chat." And that is an area where you could see

what people are actually saying.

If you have a question, and if you would like to

pose that question, you can actually enter that into the

box right below the public chat. And you can just type in

the questions that you might have or the comments that you

might have.

Several of you have probably noticed that folks are

putting information up there, and it's being loaded into

the public chat.

For example, Amy just said, "Perhaps Chris can go

And I agree with you, Amy.

And so I'll actually get in touch with you, Amy, in

just a minute to double-check on your mic just to make sure

all is going well there.

And right below the area where you can enter --

that text block where you can actually enter, you'll see

some icons and then a listing of who's here with us today.

If you go down that list, you'll see Kimberly

Griffin is with us. And she's the transcriptionist. And

she's done an outstanding job in helping us get these

webinars into an accessible format very quickly.

She works with Liz Persaud on our team, the Pass It

On Center team, to get those up as quickly as possible onto

our website.

And I know quite a few of you have actually been on

there and spent some time, downloaded this information and

other information. And so we encourage you to do that.

That's actually a very popular part of our website, and

people are spending quite a bit of time there, which is


The presentation obviously, the slides -- everyone

should see the National Leadership Summit slide. I've got

that up. I'm going to refresh it, and you should be able

to see that.
If you don't see that, let me know. Sometimes it's

a little bit difficult whenever we have several

presentations. And so I'm going to actually go ahead and

pull up Chris's presentation so that y'all can see that.

We will have Chris go first.

If you want to record this presentation, you can.

All you would need to do is go up to the very top and hit

"Recording," and then come down, and you're able to record.

So feel free to record this if you're interested in this

information. No problem.

And as I said, you'll also hear the recording on

our website, and you'll be able to get the presentation

there too.

So right now I've just pulled up a slide. It says

"Responding to the Earthquake in Haiti."

Does everyone see that slide? Yes. Great. Good.

And so I'm going to actually turn the mic over to


Chris, you let me know when you would like me to

move the slides forward, and I'll be happy to do that for


Once again, so happy that Chris Brand is with us.

And George has also been doing quite a bit in Haiti. And

so he'll be jumping in and giving some information about

the effort there too. And we appreciate the great work
that you two are doing.

So thank you, Chris. And take it away.

CHRIS BRAND: Well, thanks so much, Carolyn. Wow.

I'm Chris Brand here in Stone Mountain with the Friends of

Disabled Adults and Children or FODAC. And we are so

honored to be participating in some of these efforts to

really increase the ability for mitigation and preparation

for so many things that we could be helpful for here in the

States. And was -- really, really -- learned a great deal

at the summit recently myself just being there and all the

different facets of things that shelters have to take into

account for multiple disabilities.

And it's, you know, a very broad group of people

there, and I'm looking forward to hearing more of the

details from you and the other Pass It On team.

But I'd love to go through these. You can go to

the next slide, Carolyn.

Some of the -- this is just a good kind of a

start-to-finish response-and-preparation type of activities

that we were doing out at our facility.

We made ourselves available to Haiti. Even though

that's not a focus of ours, which is in the States, we

still made ourselves available and had huge participation

with Pass It On, Portlight, the disability community at

large with shipping things here from Tennessee, from
New York. And so we were acting as a coordination site

doing very detailed inventory and trying to match that up

with the areas that Portlight was identifying had needs at

different shelter tents and facilities.

Next slide. You can go on to the next one there.

And then after those items were collected by

individuals, by companies, by other organizations, we were

accepting them, cleaning them up, packing them into larger

boxes after counting them, getting all those prepared to

double stack on tractor-trailers, trying to fine tune how

we do pack trucks that can go, which you'll see earlier

pictures a little while later in a few minutes of Katrina's

efforts which were just very quick and a little bit not as


Here over in the first tractor-trailer load alone

we had over 300 folding walkers and over a couple hundred

pairs of crutches. And those were items that were in our

warehouse that are just normal, international, and

emergency preparedness relief items that we would typically


We'd just emptied our warehouse of probably another

tractor-trailer load about a week before the earthquake hit

in Haiti. So we could have had a good bit more, but we've

had over five trucks leave here. I think six now

tractor-trailers have left with items to go directly to


So these are some of the examples of the area where

we had 15 manual hospital beds strategically stacked so

that they could go on the truck strapped together with all

their mattresses. Lot of these items going out.

You can go on to the next slide.

And as soon as we'd have these pallets going out

onto trucks, we would have just as many arriving off of

other trailers from other locations. And so we'd have to

go through the process again of making sure that all the

items are inventoried on each pallet, numbering the pallets

so that, when the pallets arrive down there, they're being

dispersed to multiple different areas that they're quickly

identifiable on the manifest -- how to get -- which ones

are needed most in different areas.

So you can go to the next one.

There's an example of the beds going on that were

strapped together and shrinkwrapped.

Next slide.

It seems like the more often that we do this, the

more often we find little tips and tricks that allow us to

pack more efficiently to really maximize every square inch

of the trucks that are going because they are so hard to

come by. And there's another amount being loaded.
And then here's where they're coming off the trucks

over in Haiti. They were unloading some there on a


And you can keep going.

Of course there's no forklifts in the unloading

facilities. You have to take into account anywhere that

you're shipping items for disaster relief. But here's the

human forklifts.

You can keep going.

And of course the numbers are designed so they can

ship them on out to the correct places. And here they are

being arrived some in some areas.

And you can keep going.

Some are being put on trucks going different

directions. And even the tourist buses were used for

loading up some of these heavy beds to go to different

hospitals and clinic areas where they really needed those.

And you can keep going.

And this is an example of a really good partnership

of having -- at the university down there in Haiti. They

did have many other agencies that were able to come and

grab things that they needed the most to take back to where

they were working.

And you can see the next slide shows what this

person was able to take back to their clinic: a lot of
medical supplies, catheters, folding walkers. A number of

different things.

And next slide.

And some of the hospital equipment. We did send

some of these gurneys, some of the larger medical tilting

tables, gurneys, and various items. And so this is -- some

of these supplies are all around this room that we sent.

You can keep going.

And here's one of the recipients right there. And,

you know, really, really the need was just incredibly great

for many of these things. And it still is, we're hearing

from as recently as last week.

You can go to the next slide.

As recently as last week there was a call to Grady

to please send more physical therapists down to help with

matching of some of these donated orthotics and things that

people are having to have made just customized just for


There's another piece of equipment this gentleman's

on here that we'd sent down. Many walkers in the

background and supplies. And that's the Haiti. I think

that's the last slide in the Haiti book.

I was going to show a few of the other slides if

they're in there. Here they are.

This was the first shipment from Stone Mountain
that -- when Katrina hit, the thing about in the States is

you have so many companies who want to help. But if you're

not part of mitigation preparation in a stronger way with

FEMA, certified, working with Georgia VOAD or your local

VOADs, you're really not going to be able to be as

effective. And that's what we've learned is, being

responders is great, but if you're not a part of the

system, you're really not making the impact you'd hope.

When we first had a truck from this facility --

this is not even our facility. We had leveraged all these

items that are used and some new equipment to Katrina. The

truck didn't show up. FEMA pulled all of them.

And we had Channel 2. You know, we had the local

news crew come out, and they did some video of this, like,

all this equipment is waiting to go, and FEMA pulls our

truck that we had rented.

Well, we had probably 16 or 18 independent trucking

companies call us up immediately that day saying, "I would

be glad to drive that to the areas that need it the most."

And so that worked out tremendously for us. We sent over

six tractor-trailers down to Katrina eventually.

But again, we had to work with the Centers For

Independent Living. And we were not a part of the

preparedness at that point, and there were several issues

we could have done much better.
You can keep going there, Carolyn.

That's the owner of the trucking company that we

were loading with. Here's the truck that's being loaded

with new and refurbished equipment.

That's another thing with preparation, is that you

can get memorandums of understanding to not only send reuse

but to combine it with a lot of new things, which we've had

a lot of new items that went down to different areas of

Hattiesburg, Shreveport working with the Louisiana Center

for -- LATAN -- Center For Independent Living. And we were

asking them for different things they needed and shipping

them down.

You can continue. Next slide.

And those are some more items going on the truck.

And the next one.

And a lot of new items here. You can see brand new

boxes of new power chairs still in the box, a lot of brand

new batteries we leveraged. And these are some things that

we want to get in place before. In case of an event, hey,

we are part of the preparation and response. You can

possibly leverage more of those commitments from larger

vendors or companies.

There's some water, some different cribs,

wheelchairs, medical supplies. That was all a different

truck going down.
You can continue.

And not only that, but at the summit we were also

discussing how having those memorandums of understanding

with the local vendors who could help match that equipment

in a crisis would be so, so helpful. So having people that

you can call on, as long as their area hasn't been affected

by the emergency, that can come in that are committed in

advance to meeting you with your supply of equipment and

will help you in those instances.

So we're developing some templates and letters that

maybe we can pass along possibly and try to leverage more

partnerships in an emergency.

And you can continue. I believe that's the last

one. Oh, no. There we go.

Another shipment that's being loaded out for that

particular effort down in Katrina. A lot of brand new


And there we are. I believe that is the end.

Thank you so much, Carolyn. And love being a part of this

effort and taking this to another level for us in the

Georgia and in the southeast.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Excellent. Thank you so much,

Chris. I really appreciate you sharing that information

with us and your efforts.

And I'm going to actually release the mic. It
looks like, Amy, you have your hand up.

GEORGE HEAKE: Can you hear me, Carolyn?


GEORGE HEAKE: You can hear me? Oh, this is so


AMY GOLDMAN: That's all. We were just checking.

Go ahead with your Q and A for Chris.

GEORGE HEAKE: Carolyn, can you hear me now?

Can everybody hear me?

I'll just add on to a little bit of what Chris was

saying. I apologize for the running around. To see me

running around with my size, people were getting out of my

way here.

Chris hit onto some pretty crucial points in the

part of this system alleviates a lot of pressure, and you

really make full advantage of the resources that you have

at hand.

An example of FEMA pulling their truck is a great

example. Sometimes it is their fault; sometimes it's not.

They don't have control because of our response system in

the United States.

But for whatever reason, if you have that

memorandum of understanding with various partners in your

region, other activities that you've dealt with before to

back you up in situations like that, it's crucial in the
success of any kind of program like this.

And when you become part of the system, you're able

to get the support to build sustainability and to have

certain things on hand before the crisis hits and because,

in the passion of an event, people will send you


And seeing pictures of Chris's operation makes it

look very organized compared to our first one that we did

in Katrina. But you saw how things were shrinkwrapped, the

ability to package things correctly.

Sometimes you don't know what kind of mode of

transportation is going to be offered, whether it's going

to be a cargo container, shipping container that's going to

go on a ship or a military airlift.

You have to be prepared. And the only way you

become prepared is if you learn how to participate in the

system, in the work, and develop the partners beforehand.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Excellent. Thank you. Good

points, George, as always. So glad to hear your voice.

I was wondering if anybody had any questions for

Chris or for George about any of the specifics with their

activities when it comes to most recently working with


I know I was watching CNN, and I'm seeing what's

happening in Rhode Island and knowing that we'll probably
be getting calls shortly about that.

But any questions so far before we move on to a

review and kind of a summary of what happened at the


Okay. Then feel free to ask questions if you have

a question later.

Chris, thank you so much for pulling that

presentation together.

We really appreciate Trish Redmon with the Pass It

On Center, too, because she pulled a lot of our

presentation information together. So she did a great job

pulling some of those pictures. And then she did an

excellent job with this presentation that we're about to go

over right now.

So does everyone see the first slide? It says

National Leadership Summit on Emergency Management and AT

Reuse." Great. Just want to make sure. Thank you very


I appreciate that, Sandy. Thanks for the feedback

to let me know you got it -- or you see it.

This is actually -- we're going to cover

information from the leadership summit that we had in

Washington, D.C. in February. It was the 23rd and the


And I've got to tell you. I've been in a lot of
meetings. And this meeting, without a doubt, was one of

the best meetings I've been in in a long time where I

really felt like we were making a lot of progress in an

area that we really have been lacking in some ways.

And it's exciting to see what will come as a result

of that. It was also exciting to see the energy and

experience the energy in that room. There were folks

there -- and I'm going to go through the list in just a few


There were folks there, though, that had never

heard really of assistive technology reuse or really

understood what we were doing in this area. And so you'll

hear some of the success there.

Our goal was -- and I'm going to cover those in

just a second. But we had the slogan, "Successful

strategies, innovative partnerships, and futures planning."

And that's basically what we were all about.

We broke it down into four areas: mitigation,

preparation, response, recovery. And it continues. So the

preparation informs response, response informs recovery,

recovery informs mitigation, and the cycle continues.

Our goals were very defined. We wanted to really

look at the role of assistive technology reuse in emergency

management. As many of you know, we are a community -- the

assistive technology community -- one that does reach out
very quickly. The reuse community reaches out, you know,

very quickly.

But as Chris was just indicating, if we were not

plugged into the system, then we can actually become a

barrier to effective emergency management. And so we

wanted to define what is the role of reuse of assistive

technology in emergency management.

We also wanted to identify the infrastructure

needed to deliver reused AT to people affected by disaster.

And once again, key, being able to plug in effectively, the

right timing with the right equipment.

We wanted to also clarify that, just because a lot

of us are into the reuse of assistive technology, I by no

means believe that reuse is better than brand new


But I do think, and I have witnessed firsthand

where reused technology fills the gap very quickly for

people. And so we wanted to make sure we were clear about

that, that we're not saying, "Sorry you lost your brand new

power wheelchair. Here is another wheelchair that should

be able to fit. It's 15 years old," or what have you.

We really wanted to make it clear that we see reuse

as a stopgap measure, not as the end-all, the answer to

somebody's assistive technology needs after an emergency

for the rest of their life or what have you.
We also wanted to develop a sustainable network.

And we really believe in that word "sustainable."

Sustainable network to pursue national strategies for

addressing the AT needs of individuals affected by


And so we're going discuss with you throughout this

presentation some of the ideas around that, some of the

things that we're kind of throwing around and exploring

around this and what that network is really about.

And then we also wanted to develop achievable

action steps to meet these goals. And you'll see that we

actually did do that. We were able to successfully do

that. We continue to do that. And we definitely would

like your input.

So this is by no means an event that happened in

February and, you know, closed for discussion. This is

open for discussion, and we're going to continue the

conversation with you and with everyone else on a national


We, actually as a result of the meeting, have had

two invitations to other emergency response conferences.

And George is going to be representing us there. Thank

you, George. He does such a great job with that.

We're also going to be presenting this information

at ATIA in October and exploring some more of the ideas and
concepts and really developing this plan even more there.

We are also going to be at the NATTAP meeting in

April, and we'll be talking about this again there. So, as

I said, we don't see this as just a closed conversation or

what have you.

The invited participants to this meeting. They

were leaders in the field of emergency management. We also

had key government officials and agencies that provide

emergency management services or services to individuals

with disabilities.

And it was such a great mix of folks. Once again,

a lot of folks that I had never met before. Some I had not

even heard their name or didn't even know that they were

really involved in working with folks during emergencies,

either the planning or the management, or even working in

some ways with folks with disabilities.

We also invited advocates. We absolutely believe

in "nothing about us without us." So we had a lot of

advocates for people with disabilities there. Obviously

that's key to success.

And then we had leaders in the field of assistive

technology reuse. I was also so happy that Alicia from

DC Shares was able to bring reused assistive technology so

that folks got to experience and interact with this

technology and have a real idea of what it is we're talking
about when we're talking about technology, that it's not

just about that wheelchair.

It could be about, you know, a Kindle. It could be

about a smartphone. It could be about a laptop. It could

be about a shower chair. So that people had a better idea

of what we were talking about when we're talking about

assistive technology and then reuse.

We also were able to get technology from Amy and

her crew over in Pennsylvania.

So, Amy, thanks for thinking of that.

And, Alicia, thanks for helping us out with that.

The panelists, once again we tried to get a good

mix of folks. And we looked at a cross agency and

diversity in the stakeholders here. And that's what we

were looking for and trying to really get out of each of

the panels.

We divided the group up in some ways actually into

four panels, each looking at those areas that I covered

earlier: preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation.

And we had a diversity of folks there with a

diversity of views, which was nice. And we really did want

to create a culture, an environment in which all views were

welcome. And sure enough they were.

It was nice to see that we were able to come to

consensus on some very important action steps but also able
to think outside the box and have all voices welcome.

So we had -- rehab services administration was

there in full force, and we were so thankful that they were

there. We appreciated everybody being there and showing up

and helping us out.

And we also had Lynnae Ruttledge with us. And so

we'll talk a little bit more about that. It was wonderful

that she was able to be with us and spend some time.

FEMA was there. We had several folks, all

different levels of FEMA there, including Marcie Roth,

which, once again, another appointee of the Obama

administration. And I'm just very impressed with her.

U.S. Department of Agriculture was there. The

Administration on Developmental Disabilities. Community

Emergency Preparedness Information Network, a network that

I was not even aware of until we got together and started

pulling this together. But they were there and very


Obviously the Pass It On Center. We were hosting

this event with Amy and George. And we appreciate the

opportunity to do that.

Department of Justice. And you'll hear in a little

bit some of the information that we were able to glean from

them and some very interesting and good information that

they were able to share with us.
The Administration For Children and Families.

Argonne National Laboratory was also with us. Florida

Governor's Commission on Disabilities. By the way, they

are one of the few states that actually has an individual

with a disability leading the effort appointed by the

governor. And I just thought Bryan was outstanding and had

a lot of really good information to share. And I'm still

thinking about some of the information he was able to share

with us.

And then we had some representatives from CAP, the

Computers/Electronics Accommodations Program. We also had

the National Organization on Disability represented. The

Wireless RERC.

Deaf Link. I had never heard of Deaf Link. And I

would encourage you to check them out. You can go online

and learn more about the good work they're doing. Very

impressed with that organization.

EAD and Associates. Elizabeth Davis is the lead

there and, once again, a very informative person. Has all

kinds of experience to share.

Assistive Technology for Kansans. Friends of

Disabled Adults and Children.

Louisiana Assistive Technology Assistance Network.

And we were glad to have both Julie and Jamie with us. And

they were able to share not only their experience in
Louisiana but also some of the information that they were

able to gather that helps inform their decisions as they

move forward with planning, including some memorandums of

understanding and some other progressive things, steps that

they've taken for preparation.

And all of that information that they have provided

is on the knowledge base, the Pass It On Center knowledge

base. And we'll point you to the knowledge base several

times throughout this presentation.

The Institute For Rehabilitation and Research.

Also the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

Once again, very helpful to connect with those folks in

many areas, including the ability to reach out in diverse

ways and then also assisting with some really good and

innovative ways to train folks. So I was impressed with

what they had to share there.

The Western University of Health Services. Iowa

Easter Seals. Association of Assistive Technology Act

Programs, ATAP, as most of you know them. And then also

Pennsylvania Initiative on Assistive Technology.

So once again, it was an outstanding mix of folks

and just a diverse group.

So I'm going to turn this over to Amy, and she's

going to give you some more information when it came to

actually framing the discussion in which we had the great
pleasure of having Jeremy Buzzell with us from RSA and

Deborah Buck with NISAT.

Amy, take it away.

AMY GOLDMAN: Good afternoon, everyone.

Of course it was a no-brainer to invite Jeremy to

help us lead the discussion because of his ability to give

the perspectives of the Department regarding their

commitment to and interest in AT reuse and their

acknowledgment of the importance of AT reuse in general.

And he also made remarks about the importance of AT

reuse efforts ...(audio skip)... part of response --

emergency response and recovery. So he did a great job of

giving us some background about how, of course, reuse is

also a green initiative, again, certainly in line with the

current administration.

Deborah Buck presented findings from NISAT. And if

you haven't heard Deb's presentation about the dollars and

the numbers of people impacted through receiving reused AT,

you must get that. I don't know whether -- I'd imagine

Deborah will be at the NATTAP meeting in April.

But it's totally impressive in terms of how AT

reuse has increased the availability of AT to people who

had no other way to get the AT that they needed. And of

course we know that people who are impacted by emergencies,

by disasters are typically in great need -- great immediate
need of reuse.

Next slide.

Okay. As Carolyn said, we were thrilled that

Marcie Roth was there. She's probably the highest ranking

person in FEMA who is dedicated to issues related to people

with disabilities. And her office, which is brand, brand

new -- I think it was only formed in mid-February, maybe a

week before the conference -- this office -- no laughing at

the acronym -- is the Office of Disability Integration and


So it is quite impressive to have an office that is

pretty high up in the table of organization of FEMA that

specifically addresses the needs of persons with


Marcie reminded us that FEMA assistance requires a

request from the state, from the governor as well as a

disaster declaration from the president. And she did again

clarify for me anyway that FEMA requests come along with a

commitment from the state to meet at least a portion of the

costs associated with a response.

So if you've ever wondered why a state might take

pause or drag its heels in requesting this response, it is

related to the state's assessment, I guess, of their

ability to foot the portion of the bill that they would be

responsible for. And I believe it's 25 percent of the
overall costs.

Now, some of what Marcie had to say was totally,

totally new to me. And one of these is a bullet point on

the current slide, that Marcie talked about the Stafford

Act, which has many provisions related to emergency


And one of those things addressed what an allowance

is for individuals whose home is considerably damaged or

destroyed by a disaster.

And one of the key points that came out of our

conversation there was the ceiling on that. The amount

that a person could receive if their home was totaled does

not take into account the fact that an individual might

have $30,000, $50,000 worth of home modifications that were

lost along with the loss of the home in general.

And indeed Marcie pointed out to us that this is a

great opportunity for advocacy, that there be some sort of

provision or exception that would allow for additional

monies where that home included X amount of home


Marcie's office, ODIC, will build a cadre of

experts related to individuals with disabilities. And

we're hoping that perhaps Marcie met some of the people

there that she might want to include in her cadre -- we

hope that she met them at the summit. I'm not exactly sure
what the process is for recruiting that cadre, but we'll be

sure to keep you all informed.

Okay. Next slide, Carolyn.

That last point is the current contracting system

that FEMA uses which might be a barrier to accessing DME.

Okay. Again, some of our beginning discussions

included presentation from Sara Sack, who talked about the

way the AT for Kansans program has responded in disaster to

a variety of natural disasters that have occurred in

Kansas. And she informed us of the lessons that they have

learned there in Kansas.

The last bullet on this slide addresses something

that became a bit of a theme. And again, you heard it in

Chris's earlier presentation that the issues of logistics

in delivering the equipment to the point of need is a huge

barrier that needs to be planned for and overcome if we are

to get our reutilized equipment into the hands of people

affected by disaster who need that equipment. So again, a

recurring issue.

Next slide, Carolyn.

We then had George and Chris on a brief panel. One

of the messages there is, become a part of the system. You

could guess that that's a theme of George's, as he already

mentioned that earlier this afternoon, that we need to be a

part of the national response system.
Number one, they have to agree to let us in. And

number two, we have to be there knocking on the door to be

part of that system.

Again, George mentioned the issue regarding

communication both before and at the time of emergency and

again transportation. You heard at length from Chris this

afternoon about the great work that FODAC has done and how

they are assisting.

Next slide.

We were delighted, as Carolyn said, to welcome

Lynnae Ruttledge. She obviously was very aware of the

needs of people with disabilities in times of disaster.

She welcomed our participation and mentioned to

everyone in the room the need to involve vocational

rehabilitation because people with disabilities affected by

disaster want to be able to get back to work as soon as

their work is ready to have them back.

She specifically mentioned concerns about centers

for independent living, the Native American rehab programs,

and seasonal migrant individuals. So that was the framing.

Getting back to our graphic here of the cycle.

You'll notice again that the graphic is a circle, that this

is cyclical. It's not a line. There is no beginning and

no end in this model of emergency management.

And because it is cyclical, we always have the
opportunity to plan and learn and revise what we're doing.

The key issue -- or one of the key issues here is that

people with disabilities need to be involved in all phases.

So with those words in mind, as Carolyn mentioned,

we had a panel that addressed each of the phases. And

George is going to introduce us to two of those panels.

GEORGE HEAKE: First with preparation -- and before

I go on, just to echo something that Amy had talked about,

what our underlying theme or my underlying anthem of

becoming part of the system. There was also a lot of

discussion, especially from Bruce McFarlane, that we almost

have to have our own system.

As we've seen starkly through FEMA, there's gaps in

the system in the United States. And because of the laws

and everything else, sometimes FEMA cannot come in. But

because a state does not ask FEMA to come in, that does not

diminish or erase possible needs that still exist, where a

perfect example would have been during the Iowa floods.

With that said, the preparation panel, we were very

fortunate to put together these panelists of Bruce

McFarlane from the National Organization of Disabilities,

Elena Mitchell from the Wireless RERC, Kevin Curtin from

USDA, Jamie from LATAN, and Faith McCormick about


The key thing about preparation, why I think this
was such a great collection of panelists is that everybody

brought their own view of the importance of what

preparation was, what the challenges are, and how we move


And we brought up very good discussions about

public address. Helena Mitchell was able to bring up the

importance of accessible information. Discussion in

preparation of why people do not evacuate.

For an example that was discussed relating to

Texas, people were told to evacuate or face imminent death.

Why weren't people evacuating, et cetera?

Emergency communications not designed to reach

people with various disabilities. This brings in the whole

issue of a trusted source. If it's not accessible to me or

they don't understand where the message is coming from,

they're not going to react to it. They're not going to


Some of these various groups of people with

functional needs are a separate culture unto themselves,

such as deaf and hard of hearing. If it's coming from a

nondeaf culture, they're going to question why, where

should they go, who are you, et cetera.

Another important discussion was shelters,

evacuation systems not prepared to deal with people with

disabilities and also don't have the access to assistive
technology beforehand.

The whole idea in preparation, it's not discussed

or haven't been in a lot of different areas about assistive

technology. People usually learn about it during the

response aspect. And it was quite obvious what are the

benefits of discussing the whole issue of AT reutilization

in the preparation stage, in the mitigation, et cetera.

So the collection of this group was very

interesting in that sparks were going off. "Oh, I had no

idea that AT was more than computer access," et cetera, and

more than just durable medical equipment, that it was also

services. And that has to become part of the whole process

in the long-term recovery plan, et cetera.

Lack of emergency preparation by people with

disabilities. It was also discussed that responsibility,

just as in the general population, why doesn't everybody

have a go kit, or why doesn't everybody have a preparation

plan? Even professionals in the field don't have a go kit

and don't have a preparation plan. You know, why is that?

But when you discuss the vulnerability of certain

groups of people with functional needs, they're not quite

sure what to do or if it's even worthwhile.

Especially if they're in the area that they don't

have what I call motivational disasters. They don't

understand, you know, "Hey, I've never seen a flood. I've
never seen a hurricane." So that's an issue in preparation

across the board.

We also were able to discuss strategies about

infrastructure not in place to make appropriate use of

reusable AT from programs around the country. The whole

idea of -- and we talked about existing models of aid

matrix that have historically been used by FEMA but have to

be subscribed in state. If the state isn't subscribed to

it, we don't have access to it.

After about three years, I was finally given access

in response to American Samoa. But that took many years to

get access to it. And we were discussing we need to pull

together a database whatever.

Ed Tanzman from Argonne brought up a tool that

might be available to us for logistics and supply chain

management. We're in the process of getting that together

for both FODAC, Pass It On Center, both region 4 and

region 3.

Next slide.

In response: Tracy Keninger from Iowa Easter

Seals, Amy Green from Red Cross, Julie Nesbit from LATAN,

David Lett from Administration of Children and Families,

and Kay Chiodo from Deaf Link. Great discussions around


Tracy Keninger was able to bring across stories of
what some of the problems were relating to Iowa floods.

FEMA originally called me in response to requests for DME,

jumped the gun a bit. The State of Iowa did not request

durable medical equipment. They backed out. And that

started a whole series of problems, but it ended up in the

long run being pretty useful.

Amy Green, who was from National Mass Care of Red

Cross, was able to get a lot of issues across of what they

face in the field, what they need in regards to

accessibility, what they are responsible for and what they

aren't. So she was able to really present both sides of

the fence in Red Cross, and she was able to defend herself

pretty well from some good questions.

And of course Julie from LATAN gave revelations

from stories in response of what the problem was of getting

all these donations and not being part of the system and

what disorganized donations lead to -- a bigger problem can

manage donations that aren't really what they asked for.

And that's some of the things Chris was saying,

that, if we have a more organized system, logistics, and

supply chain, we can specifically request specific

equipment and get what we need in a short amount of time.

David Lett, who is involved nationally in regards

to emergency support function 6 and 8 -- 6 is mass care, 8

is health -- really brought a really good federal
perspective from the ground of what they're involved with

and what the needs are.

He also echoed the fact that there has to be

additional sources of funding to do something like this and

accomplish developing a system that we're talking about.

Kay Chiodo. If you've ever heard her speak -- and

I had the privilege to hear her speak. I almost jumped up

and said "hallelujah." She's talked about the issues of

providing not just ASL interpreting but also spoken

language interpretation, not just during response but the

issue needed in the recovery aspect as well.

Next slide, please.

Some of the big issues, some which I already

touched on, inadequacy of communication technology after

disaster, loss of land lines due to infrastructure. How

can we solve that through technology?

People evacuated without AT or peripherals. The AT

device doesn't follow them. A lot of times they are

separated from their devices. Mobility devices is a good

example. Loss of power impacts the ability to recharge.

That has come up, an additional possible project with

Argonne developing an alternative power source.

Shelter staff not knowledgeable about AT users.

This is -- I've seen this across the country. They're not

aware of AT Act programs in the state or communities.
They're not aware of what resources are available in their

state and literally in their backyard. A lot more outreach

has to be supported in doing that.

AT users often diverted to medical shelters,

overloading those unnecessarily. Someone might show up on

a walker and be completely independent, and they're shipped

off to a special medical needs shelter where that taps on

resources that people really need attention.

So in discussion with the Department of Justice,

one, they can't be sent against their will, and that's a

problem of a misconception of people that have disabilities

are not independent. So that has to be dealt with in our

outreach and education efforts as well.

Another important issue about response that was

added on -- and Deborah Buck makes a point to say this -- a

lot of the AT Act programs and reuse programs, they are

capable of doing this but not without additional funding.

We talked about their seven core responsibilities

of being an AT Act-type program. We can't just add on an

eighth responsibility of disaster preparedness and response

and have them do it within their $400,000, example, of

funding. So that was another important issue in regards to


Next slide.

Recovery. We were quite fortunate to gather this
crew together as well. William Lynch from the Civil Rights

Civil Liberties Group at the Department of Justice.

Elizabeth Davis and Richard Petty from the Institute of

Research and Rehab at the University of Texas.

Recovery being an issue -- probably I think our

weakest area in the United States system of response --

brought some really good issues as well.

Hey, Carolyn, were you supposed to do this slide?

I'll go ahead and wrap up the recovery issues, and

Carolyn can jump in.

The recovery issues that were discussed:

evacuation to distant locations away from existing support

systems -- this was one of the single key problems in the

Texas response to Ike and Gustav; no prior identification

of people with disabilities, assessments of needs -- what

needs are in the communities, who are they; noncompliance

with laws protecting people with disabilities, all apply;

absence of priorities, first come, first serve.

Carolyn, I turn it over to you.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Okay. Thank you, George. No

problem. You were doing a great job with my slides.

That's fine. And very good summary of each of the panels.

I was the moderator for the recovery panel. And I

did, I had a great panel. And it was very interesting

because a lot of the folks on my panel didn't agree with
each other. And that's good because I think a lot of

times, whenever you do disagree with folks, then you can

get to perhaps even a better approach. So that was good.

Some more of the points that were brought up:

There's no consideration of community infrastructure

priorities for the small business recovery loans. Example,

looking at preserving, making sure that the small pharmacy

that's your community pharmacy stays alive and thrives;

that the durable medical equipment provider down the

street, that they're going to be around after everybody --

as everybody's moving through recovery and making sure that

these small businesses that we do depend on are around. So

we need to consider that.

Also looking at recovery, we see that there's some

rigidity in applying laws and policies. Not always the

best result for individuals. That often there's not some

flexibility that needs to be there for common sense

application. And so we find that that becomes a barrier --

unnecessary barrier.

Compensation for homes has no extra allowance for

assistive technology or home modifications.

Amy, you brought that up earlier in relation to the

Stafford Act. And here we're seeing it again when it comes

to recovery.

The thing is is that it is about home
modifications, and it's also about your assistive

technology, and it's about any number of considerations

when it comes to having assistive technology.

And I gave the example that $29,000 for our

household would not go very far at all. My daughter uses

an augmentative communication device. That's $8,000 if

that was lost. My mom uses a Hoyer lift. Both my parents

have hospitals beds. My mom uses a wheelchair. We're well

over $29,000 just talking about their assistive technology.

And that doesn't even include my assistive technology for

my learning disabilities. So $29,000 doesn't go very far.

Political influence provides higher compensation to

evacuees to return to their original home even if

relocation is better for the person.

So those were some of the things that we were

considering and idea that we were presenting. And so I'm

actually going to turn this right back over to Amy, who did

a great job with the mitigation panel.

And so, Amy, take it away.

AMY GOLDMAN: Sure. The first thing I had to do

was to learn what "mitigation" meant. And basically it

meanings taking steps to reduce the future impact of a

disaster where it's at least somewhat predictable.

For example, in areas that are prone to flooding,

change the building codes so that vulnerable buildings
aren't built in those flood plains. So that was a

beginning point of education for me.

Then we had a great and a diverse panel. Neil

McDevitt, June Kailes, Ed Tanzman, and again Bryan Vaughan.

Next slide.

So in terms of considering steps that can be taken

for mitigation, my example, that often it is inadequate

building codes that really magnify the impact of an event.

And we do see that we're not totally doomed to repeat our

mistakes. There are areas that are earthquake prone, and

now we have earthquake-resistant provisions in the building

codes. So that's an example of a mitigation step that has

been taken.

There still is a huge issue in getting individuals

prepared. We know that being individually prepared will

reduce the impact of an emergency or a disaster. And yet,

in the general population, as George said, there is

difficulty getting people to be prepared. And I think

that's even amplified amongst people with disabilities.

So we know that very often AT is not available when

the emergency happens. So mitigation would have to do with

taking steps to make sure that that AT is available.

We spent a lot of time talking about issues related

to loss of power because so many of our technologies do

need a power source. And this would be a pretty concrete
step to take.

And actually George was just bringing me up to date

that one of the participants -- and he was on this

mitigation panel -- Ed Tanzman, from the Argonne National

Lab, was like, Wait a minute. There's people whose whole

life is around batteries. What we need to do is to perhaps

look at the steps that can be taken so that a power chair,

for example, could be powered through an adapter attached

to a truck engine so that a hot truck or whatever could

circulate amongst those locations even when the power was


So that would be a great and concrete mitigation


We talked about the inaccessibility of many print

materials available to people with disabilities. And

again, relatively easy step to take in many cases.

We talked about evacuees without medical records

and a bias in the emergency-management system that looks

for devices to solve problems rather than services such as

education and training.

Next slide.

Okay. So after our four panels, we got together in

small groups, mixed it up a little bit, and the groups came

out with several recommendations. I'm going to go over

some, and George and then Carolyn will give us a wrap-up.
So first of all, we need some policies for

emergency managers -- and that's what "EM" is in these

slides -- that can explain the use of assistive technology.

Again, you've heard the thread that many of our

participants -- and they are leaders -- and they did not

understand what is encompassed in the term "AT," and they

were unaware of the AT reuse resources.

To develop standards -- or that developed standards

be used in emergency management. So, for example, we have

lots of lessons that we have learned over the years about

AT reuse. We know them from Louisiana. We've learned them

in Kansas.

So to take that body of knowledge, for example, to

synthesize a core of AT that should be available,

stockpiled, positioned so that it can be readily called

upon and transported to and given to people who need it.

Modify policies to make sure -- and again, this

point was raised before -- that reutilized AT may be a

stopgap, a temporary measure but should by no means change

the right to access new AT when in a very big way the new

AT is what is needed.

Along the lines of that we wanted to clarify the

right of the user to keep AT even when they're moving from

a shelter to more permanent housing or back to their home

so that there should never be a transition where a person
is, once again, without assistive technology.

And we want -- you know, if our premises is that

the reutilized AT is a temporary measure, when the need for

that does no longer exist, we need a mechanism to return

the AT to the pool for reuse once again.

Next slide.

GEORGE HEAKE: In regards to what infrastructure is

needed, the vision of it at least, is include AT resource

info into emergency manager training from the introductory

all the way through the advanced.

FEMA, homeland security, fire administration has a

very broad core of information and education system. The

thousands and thousands of first responders emergency

managers take, that has to be made part of the basic

curriculum and information that's given out for training.

And that's passed on to other entities out in the community

so everybody has the same core of information.

And a designated person to an incident-command

person to assist with people with disabilities. Some

states have done this on their own, but it really needs to

be incorporated into the national response plan and

hopefully into a national recovery plan as well.

Create a database, inventory of renewable, quality

reused AT. Chris Brand and I have had discussions of this

is basically talking about supply chain and where the AT
is, how can we move it around.

And that's the information programs that we're

looking into as FEMA as well. And there are similar

programs already being used within the AT community to kind

of quickly put together a database of where is it and how

can we get it and respond accordingly.

Pre-stage assistive technology and use supply chain

management to deliver point of need. The issue is I

have -- historically, we have no problems. We flip the

switch, and 24 hours -- in less than 24 hours I get a

response of where available AT is.

Our biggest barrier is transportation or cost of

transportation, or gas to transport it between county and

county, state to state, then on the bigger scale how do we

get it to American Samoa or from Philadelphia to

Baton Rouge, et cetera. We need the same supply chain as

the response mechanism is, what military National Guard is.

We have to be part of that system.

Forecast needs; implement checklists for shelters.

So as they do training during downtime when it's not

hurricane or disaster time, I say do shelter training and

implement checklists. As we incorporate AT in part of that

checklist, everybody will be learning about what AT,

durable medical equipment, what kind of power is needed,

not just for heating and air conditioning.
Oh, we need power for refrigeration for medication,

auxiliary power to charge wheelchairs, et cetera, breathing

devices, feeding apparatus, dialysis, et cetera.

The more it's part of the materials, the more

everybody learns, especially within a volunteer environment

when there's rotation of volunteers. Everybody needs to be

trained over and over and over again.

Teach responders how to trigger AT delivery. Is it

stored locally? How can I get it? Who do I contact?

Et cetera. There needs to be a lot of outreach in that

regard -- mainstream outreach. It has to be part of Red

Cross training. It has to be part of public safety

awareness so everybody is aware of it, not just in time of

big disasters but house fires, apartment fires, local

fires. If this is done, a lot of people will be aware of


All state plans should address needs of people with

disabilities through multimodal communications, delivery of

information, and involve vendors, manufacturers in meeting

the needs. Have vendors become part of developing the

interfaces and standards.

AMY GOLDMAN: Next slide. Okay. Next slide. Oh,

okay. There it is. All right.

One of the things that really resonated with me was

the whole involvement of AT professionals in having the
conversation with people with disabilities about their

emergency preparedness.

So for example, when the delivery of the new power

chair has come, to talk with the PTs or to get the PTs and

maybe the vendor as well engaging with the person with the

disability in discussing, "Okay. So here is your new power

chair. What are you going to do when there's a fire? What

are you going to do when the power is out for a week

because there's an ice storm?" So begin to have that


"And by the way, here's your new wheelchair. Your

old one still works. Where can we send your old one if you

don't need it for a backup, or as long as you have a manual

for a backup?" So again, really engaging with other

professionals who touch the lives of people with


You might do this with memorandum of understanding,

perhaps with the professionals at the state level, at

professional associations at the state level.

Again, we have the issue of making sure that

assistive technology is in the ready line -- a new lexical

item added to my vocabulary -- for just-in-time delivery

along with things like water. Well, maybe after the water.

A system that provides incentives for the donation

of useable AT perhaps beyond just a tax deduction to the
fullest extent of the law.

And we need a way -- and to some extent the Pass It

On Center knowledge base will help us accomplish this -- to

have a readily available resource of all of the things

we're learning about AT, AT reuse, and emergency


GEORGE HEAKE: Some of the recommendations that

came out of the summit: the key one, developing a network

for AT reuse. A basic foundation of this would be

identify, involve key groups who were not at DC summit.

There are also interested parties that could not

make it, so it's going to be extended to involve kind of an

ongoing, living working group.

Advocate for inclusion of disability cluster in all

facets of emergency management. This was also witness as

part of the international relief to Haiti. They have

operational clusters, but they did not have a disability


After a lot of noise from certain individuals, they

ended up creating a disability cluster and tucked it

underneath Health. It's a small step, maybe not -- they

shouldn't have done it under Health, but at least they

created one. So it has to be operationally included.

Encourage/educate people with disabilities to take

more responsibility. My whole attitude is why do we -- any
given congregation of people, why do most people in a room

know what to do when their clothes catch on fire? It's

been a part of mainstream education for many, many years.

We have to get to that point in preparation and

including it in a lot of our education, K through 12 and

higher education as well.

Get AT users involved in emergency management

system to address issues related to shelters, evacuation,

communication, et cetera.

It's one thing to invite them, but to participate

they need an accessible venue to be able to participate.

The meetings need to be accessible. The structure needs to

be accessible. And that's a whole part of the education of

the emergency-management site as well. And also encourage

people to kind of get involved and advocate for themselves

for self-empowerment as well.

Advocate for standards for recharging devices. So

there's a common standard to be able to charge various

wheelchairs and mobility and communication devices,

et cetera. That was discussed also as well as for

alternative-power-source project.

Create technical assistance partnerships to address

the digital divide. English literacy. Bruce McFarlane

brought this up several times that it's just not an issue,

of language. When you have to settle a claim with FEMA you
have to do it either in person, by computer, or phone.

And there's documented case after documented case

of people not being able to use a computer, just regular

computer literacy. So that needs to be addressed in our

system. What are alternative ways of getting our claims

finished, et cetera.

Working to build interagency models to coordinate

response and mitigate impact, meaning that we need to be

able to sit above what I call the political fog. To be

able to respond, we need a system or a way to cut through

the jurisdictions so people dealing and servicing people

with functional needs are the first one -- among the first

ones on the ground, not the last.

Create and disseminate tools that help AT reusers

prepare for disasters. This is common throughout the

general population. It really needs to be mainstreamed.

So in all the information it needs to include

information people that use AT, how do they prepare. Not

just little pockets of examples. It has to be in all the

information going out.

Identify and publicize preparation steps. Go kit,

labeling devices, gathering records, et cetera. That

really has to become part of all the basic preparation


And be able to share best practices of where it's
working, various programs working: Kansas, Kentucky,

et cetera. We need to spread the word and see how it can

be done by everybody.

Make use of existing models to forecast needs in

emergency situations. How do we harness technology to push

up accessible alert systems. There's various open-source

programs that are successfully being used in Haiti, one of

which is the Ushahidi project where you can do crowd

sourcing from cell phones and text devices.

Create AT fact sheets and share with emergency

responders. What is AT? What do I need to know about

lifting someone out of a wheelchair or the best way of

picking up a power wheelchair or getting it down steps or

loading it on the truck?

Carolyn, over to you.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Excellent job, Amy and George.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I am going to cover the next steps and give y'all

some information, would love to hear from you. If you have

any questions so far, feel free to go ahead and put them in

the public chat.

And as I said, the conversation is going to

continue. We need to really move forward on these next

steps. And we've made some progress there.

We're going to be posting information about this
initiative on our website and also on other people's

websites. That's very important to the network to be able

to get the information out in a variety of means in a

variety of communities to people in the avenues in which

they're used to getting information.

We're going to draft a summary report. Actually

we're already working on this and very excited about that.

We've made a lot of progress there. And we're going to

start sharing that widely.

We're going to send the first draft to the people

who were actually at the summit, get their input, make sure

that we did agree on these things as we think we have.

And then we'll start sharing that widely. We've

got some different avenues in which we'd like to get this

information out, ways that we could publish it in places

that we'd like to share the information.

We're going to use a mailing list software to

disseminate information to all interested parties. And

once again, this is much bigger than we had originally

imagined when you really start including all the different

groups that could really help us in order to kind of lay a

foundation so that we're all prepared.

And that, of course, someone needs their assistive

technology is part of what people think about that. Yes,

indeed everyone would need their assistive technology.
And, yes, indeed everyone would need ways to charge their

batteries and other things. That that would become a

natural approach.

We're going to have a flowchart of current

emergency-management processes -- and we've already started

working on that as it relates to assistive technology

reuse -- and identify where those gaps are. What are the

difficulties? Is it more difficult to get the equipment if

you're in one area of the country than another or in one

territory as opposed to another? And so how do we bridge

some of those gaps?

We're going to establish the priorities, fine tune

that even more, and then work with our groups that have

already raised their hands and said they want to be

involved. If you would like to be involved, we'd like it.

Create task force and/or work groups to address

very specific facets of this initiative. I know, even

looking at the list of folks that are here, we've got folks

who are so well-connected.

You know, Sandy and Joanne within the Occupational

Therapists Association. And then of course Amy working

with the American Speech and Hearing Association. And

Vivian, the groups that you work with in Puerto Rico. And

really trying to work so that we can work together on all

of this.
If you have any questions about what you heard or

suggestions, we definitely want to hear from you. You can

e-mail me,, or

We also -- and I was just going to show you -- Liz,

who is on with us today, I just posted in the public chat

the link to the Pass It On Center website.

And if you actually go to -- there's an "Events"

area. And you'll see down here, the second one down, the

second event down -- first one up there is the Western

States Summit, which we just -- Symposium -- which we just

hosted, and that was another really great, great meeting.

This has been an excellent year.

But this next event is the Emergency Management

Summit. And down at the bottom it has the agenda, the

panelist information, references for emergency and AT

references. That's a Word document.

The taxonomy for AT devices, we wanted to make sure

that everybody kind of understood each other, that we

weren't speaking in acronyms. And so some of that

information helps. And then the participant information.

We're going to be posting -- and I know Liz has

these now. We're going to be posting the PowerPoints so

that you can actually go through and get more information,

look through the PowerPoints, see the detail in which
people did present. Obviously we couldn't cover all the

detail that was covered in those two days. But we did want

to give you a summary. I hope this was helpful.

Chris and Amy, George, anything that y'all would

like to add?

CHRIS BRAND: Carolyn, one of the things we're real

excited about is we've already been a part of a shelter

training in Atlanta with the Red Cross a couple weekends

ago. And about 250 people that were there found out all

about Pass It On ...(audio skip)... serving with the

durable medical equipment.

And they were all either very thrilled or they new

about us already. You know, very thrilled to find out

about the things that we could provide, you know. The DME

but as well as some of the disposable things, transfer

boards, Hoyer lifts, all those things that could be so

helpful to people who are working with shelters. So it was

just real exciting.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Excellent. Thank you, Chris,

for sharing that. I appreciate that.

And I was very excited to see that was definitely a

very successful event and did raise a lot of awareness. I

thought that was great.

We would like to hear from you. If you are

involved in your emergency planning, how you're fitting in
with that group, what you're doing, ways that we can share

that information would be great.

If you're using reused assistive technology in your

plan, let us know. If there are things that we can help as

far as providing technical assistance, let us know. Know

that the conversation is going to continue.

And so, Rob, I know that you're on. Is there

anything that you'd like to add? I know you and Brian and

Jeremy were at the event. We appreciate y'all being there.

And feel free to jump in if you would like to.

I also wanted to let you know that we do have free

CEUs, continuing education units, for participating in this

webinar. And all you have to do is go to to register for the CEUs. Liz is our

lead for that.

Thank you, Liz, for setting this up.

And if you have any questions about that, you can

contact her directly.

Does anyone have any other questions or comments

about either the presentation that you saw or the content

of the information that we shared with you?

And I'll release the mic in case anyone wants --


With that -- thank you, Rob. You said, "Thank you,

Carolyn. Excellent meeting."
Brian said, "Good work. Emergency prep is key."

It sure is. I came home, and my partner and I

started putting together our go kit. We've got one for my

parents now. I've had conversations with my family about

what our plan is, our extended family.

And Amy asked the question, "Are you" -- and we

mean all of you -- "Are you ready?" And that's really what

this is about. The more we can raise awareness, educate

everybody, the better.

I've got to tell you, last September I would not

have guessed that we would have floods in Georgia in the

places we had floods. We have never seen that happen

before. And sure enough, there were floods.

Sandy, so glad that you're with us. It says,

"Chris, we're sending a bit more with the star load next

week." Great. So that's great.

All right. So thank you all for your

participation. Please know that the Pass It On Center is

here to help you. And let us know if you have any


Y'all take care. I know, just looking out the

window, I've got spring fever. So I hope that everyone

else is getting good weather.

It looks like, Sharon, you said, "Thanks once

again." Oh, thank you. "Looking into Wheels for the
World." Great. Let us know how that goes. We're curious

and would like to know.

So thank you all, and y'all take care.