EXPLORING REUSE & EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS WEBINAR

MAY 19, 2009



CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Hey, everyone. We want to

welcome all of you to the webinar. Today's topic is

exploring the role of reused AT in emergency preparedness.

We're very, very excited that you're with us and

think that there's quite a bit that all of us can learn

from this topic, and it's also nice to see so many folks

on. So thank you.

We're going to get started in just literally one

minute, so hang with us just for one more minute, and then

we'll get started.

Okay. We're going to go ahead and get started.

And as we always do, we're going to do just a brief tour of

our webinar system just so everyone knows -- kind of a

little orientation of how this works and everyone knows how

they can interact.

We really do appreciate your interaction and your

input, so we would really like for you to feel free to

chime in at any point.

So, Liz, do you want to cover that piece for us?

LIZ PERSAUD: Hey, everyone. This is Liz with the

Pass It On Center. And I'm just going to cover a few of

the extra features so everyone is comfortable using the

webinar platform.

If you see over to the right-hand public-chat area,

and some folks have already typed in hello and greetings,

and Carolyn has just said, "Welcome everyone."

So if you are -- don't have a mic, and you would

like to ask a question or have a comment, you can type in

there and hit "Enter," and in the public-chat area it will

pop up so everyone can see.

If you do have a mic and would like to participate

that way, what you need to do is you hold down the

"Control" button, and we'll actually see your hand raising.

There's a little icon that raises up by your hand, and

we'll see that, and we'll be able to call on you to speak.

Now, when you're finished speaking, you'll have to

make sure and to please remember to release the "Control"

button. So that way Carolyn and myself and the other guest

speakers can actually speak and continue on with the

presentation.

And feel free to just let us know if you have any

questions with that. We also want to let you know that

this webinar is being recorded. And in just a few weeks,

we'll have the transcription and the recorded webinar along

with the accessible PowerPoint up on the Pass It On Center

website under the webinar section.

So I think that's everything that we've got covered

for that. So I'm going to pass it on to Carolyn, and then

we'll continue on with the presentation.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: We'd really encourage you to

visit -- I know a lot of you have -- this is our website.

We're updating it all the time. Our knowledge base

continues to grow.

Along with that -- the webinar section, we do

actually have transcripts accessible, information up there

of exactly what's been going on with these webinars, and a

lot of folks are accessing those. We encourage you to do

that too. So feel free to go up there and get information.

So -- and we wanted to -- I'll go ahead and

introduce the topic. As we said, we're exploring the role

of reused AT in emergency preparedness.

We know several of you are actually ahead of the

curve. Folks in Kansas have been doing this for quite some

time. Same thing in Pennsylvania. And obviously Jamie

Karam has been doing this for a long time now in Louisiana.

So we've got some folks that have a lot of knowledge.

And if any of you would like to share, feel free to

pop up at any point and say whatever it is that you want to

say.

This is a very important topic. And it's actually

one of the reasons that the Pass It On Center was created.

And we'll go into more detail about that in just a few

minutes.

But that is actually one of the things that's core

to our operations, is exploring this and actually coming up

with a national perspective.

So what we're actually going to be doing -- and I

just flipped to our agenda, and I'm actually going to turn

this over to Liz to cover our agenda -- is we're going to

be exploring that national perspective and how it relates

to AT reuse.

And Liz?

LIZ PERSAUD: Thank you, Carolyn.

So this is our agenda that everyone should be able

to see up here. And I'll go through and read some of the

points.

We are -- we've got some guest speakers that we're

very, very grateful to and really glad that they can join

us. Elliot Harkavy and George Heake.

Elliot is with EGH & Associates and has been

providing us with a wealth of knowledge on emergency prep,

disaster response on a national level. And then George

Heake is from Temple University.

And we've really been working closely with both of

these individuals just to get some more detailed

information on how the Pass It On Center could be more

assistance to the AT reuse programs.

So in our agenda, the first thing that we're going

to do is actually pass it on to Elliot. And he's going to

talk about a national perspective and how it relates to AT

reuse. George is going to come in after that and talk

about some examples from the field, from groundwork, and

exactly what he's been working on.

Jessica Brodey's going to jump in. And all of us

need to know about our policies, make sure we're in line.

So she's going to give us some tips and pointers on that.

We do want to focus more on emergency prep. This

is something that's very near and dear to us here, and we

want to be able to cover that in an inclusive manner. So

we want to have more webinars focused on that. So we'll be

talking a little bit more about that in detail.

And then the Pass It On Center -- we're going to

actually come back and talk about emergency prep in AT

reuse and give some perspectives from Jeremy Buzzell from

some pointers that he gave us before and some perspectives

from RSA and then give you some more details on what we've

been doing here at the Pass It On Center.

So with that being said, I'm going to pass it on

now to Elliot, and we'll get down to some of those details.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Thank you very much, Liz.

And, Elliot, the mic is yours.

JESSICA BRODEY: This is Jessica. The slides

actually appear to be out of order big time. The next

slide is supposed to (audio skip) expectation slide, and I

was going to do that, and then Elliot goes ahead.

Any thoughts about how we should proceed?

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Hey, this is Carolyn. And I see

what you're saying. So the slides are in the wrong order.

So actually, Elliot, if you'll start talking about

expectations, and I'll start working on finding that slide.

So no problem.

JESSICA BRODEY: Okay. This is Jessica. I will

start with that slide and go ahead. I'm going to try and

open it up or at least so that I find it.

Essentially we are -- we want to talk a little bit

about expectations that we wanted for today. And this is

really a two-way street.

Our hope is that we're going to be able to delve a

little bit deeper into the whole process here -- the last

slide -- that's it.

So first thing. This webinar is part one of a

three-part series. We're going to be doing (audio skip)

introduction and the future topics we're hoping to select

based on the feedback you give us at the end of this

session today.

We are going to ask you to fill out an evaluation

and give us specific direction towards the (audio skip)

there is a slide that talks about some of the topics that

we feel may be appropriate for future webinars.

We also see this as a give-and-take. We need you

guys to learn the terminology and key structures so that we

can delve deeply in topics. If every webinar we have to go

back and start from scratch, it makes it harder to delve

deeper.

So we're going to put out an expectation that you

will review the resources we provide before the next one,

and we hope that that enables us to delve a little bit more

deeply into the topics.

And with that, the next slide, Carolyn, is to be --

let me see if I can pull that up -- the Emergency Disaster

Cycle slide. And I'm going to release it and let Elliot

take over.

ELLIOT HARKAVY: My name is Elliot Harkavy. For

those who don't know me, I've been an emergency responder

since 1994 when I joined the American Red Cross as a

volunteer.

I've responded with the Red Cross to numerous local

and national events, including being on-site at the

Pentagon on September 11th, being on-site at the World

Trade Center a few weeks after that, being the logistics

officer for the anthrax attacks in DC, being the logistic

officer for a number of train accidents in the DC area.

I did after-action reporting for Hurricane Katrina

as well as for Tropical Storm Hannah, Hurricane Isabelle,

and a number of other events.

I've also been a responder with FEMA. I've spend

five years as a reservist with FEMA. And my responses with

FEMA included being in the emergency -- being in the

regional operation center for FEMA Region 3 during the four

hurricanes of 2004 that hit Florida in a three-week period

as well as being on the ground in Katrina and being the

State liaison officer from the federal government to DC for

numerous events for the past few years.

So I've been on the ground and have seen what works

and doesn't work from the responder perspective and from

the client perspective. And I'm hoping that I have much to

share with you all.

This slide that we're looking at here is the

emergency disaster cycle. Disasters -- we think of

disasters as one -time events. Most people think of them

as one-time events.

But it's really a continuous cycle of preparing for

disasters; when the disaster strikes, responding to it,

recovering from it, learning from what happened, and trying

to prevent future disasters or at least mitigating the

impact of future disasters.

This is what your emergency management personnel

are always constantly in the middle of. It's an ongoing,

continuous cycle and a continuous improvement cycle.

Can we have the next slide, please.

Okay. When most people think about disasters, they

think about the 50 or 100 major disasters that make the

news each year -- the hurricanes, the F-5 tornados, the

multistate floods, the major forest fires that have been

burning for months like currently in California.

In these events, these are nationally declared

events. Thousands of people are displaced. Damages are

millions of dollars. Those are what most people think

about.

If you really pay attention to things, there are

about a hundred-plus emergencies declared each year. And

these are some of the -- some of the other big ones that

may not make the national news but will make the local

news: the F-1 and F-2 tornados, the localized flooding,

droughts, people evacuated to your area from a location

where there was one of the major disasters like emergencies

were declared last year in the surrounding states of Texas

after Hurricane Ike.

However, when you look at the total scope of

disasters each year, annually the American Red Cross

responds to over 65,000 individual disasters. These are

single-family-home fires; these are multifamily-home fires;

these are flooding -- localized flooding that might impact

just one block or one neighborhood.

Whether we're talking a hurricane, or whether we're

talking that family impacted by a single-family fire, to

the impacted family, the events may be catastrophic, and

they may have lost everything.

Next slide, please.

Okay. In disasters, if people are impacted who

require AT and DME, there's going to be a need to replace

that AT and that DME and -- both for the individual's

recovery, and if there are -- if it's a larger event, even

a multifamily fire, there may be sheltering. There may be

service centers set up that the client may not be able to

access if they don't have their AT and if they don't have

their DME.

The AT Act programs have a structure and an

inventory, to be truthful, to provide assistance where

there might not be other assistance, where that individual

may not have any other access to AT to replace their AT.

There's not only the nationwide, but there's also

the statewide and local infrastructure that can serve the

needs of the clients, whether we're talking a localized

incident, a statewide incident, or even a national

incident.

Next slide, please.

Okay. When you look at how an incident is managed,

whether you're talking a large-scale incident or a small

incident, all emergencies start locally. They start with

that first fire engine or police car or ambulance that

responds to the scene and expands through the local

infrastructure, through local departments of health,

departments of human services, through the hospitals and

health care systems, your American Red Cross chapter, and

other voluntary agencies.

And all of this is coordinated through the Office

of Emergency Management or whatever the equivalent is in

your locality.

As the scale and complexity increase, the local

emergency management may call upon state and federal

support if that is needed.

And as incidents get larger, the amount of

coordination and coordinated-information flow between the

responding agencies gets larger. The larger it is, the

more complex it is, the more it needs an organized

structure for making requests for resources and for those

resources to come in and be utilized.

Next slide, please.

Okay. As incidents get more complex, you need

to -- there is more information required to access what is

happening in the situation.

From our perspective, to assess are there people

with disabilities? Do those people with disabilities need

DME or AT to be made functional, to be made whole again?

Tools to analyze and interpret the data. So

basically tools in the hands of the responders to know what

it is that they're looking for. Interoperability to share

information and decisions across diverse agencies and IT

systems. Resources: who, what, where, how to supply?

So basically once they identify -- once those first

first-responders identify a need, how do they size and

scope that need, and how do they get the information to us

to get the equipment to them?

That's very much an oversimplification, as we'll go

into, but that is the eventual outcome that we want or that

I assume that we want based on the request to have this

session.

Disasters' impact on people with disabilities. In

general, most of the reports, whether you talk to 2000

census or other data, 30 percent of households have a

member with a disability. That number actually comes from

the 2000 census.

There's no evidence at all that people with

disabilities are more or less likely to be involved in or

impacted by a disaster. But when people with disabilities

are impacted, their needs may be greater.

As we've mentioned a few times, there may be a need

to replace DME or AT. They may be separated from their

caregivers. Schedules, treatments, and therapies are

likely to be interrupted.

So there's a definite increased scope of impact for

someone with a disability or definite possibilities and

potential for greater impact.

Next slide, please.

Okay. I think that this -- we may have skipped a

slide or two here, but -- okay.

If we were to look at some of the lessons learned

from Hurricane Katrina, prior to Hurricane Katrina, there

was very limited knowledge in the mainstream responder

community about people with disabilities and specific

issues and concerns of people with disabilities. I

jokingly say that many of the responders and emergency

managers couldn't spell "disability."

Two of the primary reasons that cover one-third of

those who did not evacuate for people not evacuating from

Katrina are either they were a person with a disability who

had no means to evaluate, or they had a person with a

disability in their family or household with no means to

evacuate.

That covered -- if I remember the statistic off the

top of my head -- approximately 36 percent of those who did

not evacuate. It was the number two reason why people did

not evacuate.

Just for curiosity, in case you're wondering what

number one was, about an equal number, slightly higher, of

people who had pets and no way to evacuate their pets, that

was 37 percent.

Combined, those two that accounted for over 75

percent of the people who did not evacuate -- or almost 75

percent. So those two issues alone have now suddenly

become on emergency management's radar, which is a good

thing for us and a good thing for the people that we serve.

Next slide, please.

Many who evacuated did lose most or all of their

DME and AT. I was in a disaster recovery center in

Ocean Springs, Mississippi right between Biloxi and

Pascagoula. It was the first one open, and we did work

with the hospital across the street from us to replace a

large number of wheelchairs.

Unfortunately, we didn't have access to other DME

and AT beyond wheelchairs and blood-sugar-testing

equipment, but at least we were able to get our hands on

that to help with -- from the Ocean Springs Medical Center

and from the U.S. Public Health Service.

But in the first couple of weeks, all commerce was

out. The Wal-Marts and the drugstores did not open for two

weeks after Katrina. I believe it was a similar situation

after Hurricane Ike.

And as I mentioned before, very few responders knew

about DME, even fewer AT. Most shelters were not equipped

to handle people with disabilities. Many were

inaccessible, and there was little or no DME or AT

available to those shelters to help those people who

required them.

Help must be coordinated through NIMS. That's the

National Incident Management System. That is -- that

includes the structure called the Incident Command System,

which is the command-and-control structure starting from

the incident commander going all the way down through all

the workers on the ground and allows for commanding

control.

Everything must be coordinated through that NIMS

structure. Unsolicited donations and unaffiliated

responders can cause more problems than they can help.

We hear stories upon stories of needed aid not

getting through on Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Ike

because the roads were clogged with well-meaning people

donating a lot of things that were not needed.

There was also lots and lots of stories about

unaffiliated responders getting themselves into places that

they should not have been, requiring rescue from the

mainstream emergency responders, taking them away from

other response activities.

I'm happy to provide as many examples of that as

anyone would like. Please, please feel free to type in

questions about examples if that's what you would like.

But in general, if you are not coming in through

the system, you will likely be more of a burden than a

help. But there are -- we'll be talking later about lots

of ways to get yourself started being part of the system.

Next slide, please.

Since Hurricane Katrina, people with disabilities

are at least now on the radar of the state and local

emergency managers. Unfortunately, due to various

circumstances, much of the focus is on registries and

medical-needs shelters.

So there is going to be some education required as

part of any outreach done to educate the emergency managers

on the actual needs of people with disabilities, the best

ways to reach and help those people during disasters, and

what services and assistance we can provide to meet the

needs before, during, and after a disaster.

Next slide, please.

Since Katrina, one of the issues that came up

during Katrina, a lot of complaints about the Red Cross not

being as effective as it could be in working with people

with disabilities.

Since Katrina, Red Cross has developed a training

course in conjunction with NOD, National Organization on

Disability, to better train volunteers on serving people

with disabilities.

It has added accessibility to its shelter surveys.

The shelter survey is done periodically every three to five

years for every shelter in the Red Cross system to identify

its capabilities if it ever needs to be used as an

emergency shelter and becomes the guideline for that

shelter when that shelter is open.

Personally, as I mentioned, I've been a Red Cross

volunteer since 1994. And my chapter partnered

specifically with the NOD/EPI, the Emergency Preparedness

Initiative of the National Organization on Disability to

survey all the shelters in our region with a specific focus

on accessibility.

We had Betsy Berry from the NOD walk through about

one-quarter of our shelters with us as we did the surveys

to educate our people on specific issues around

accessibility in the shelters, help us identify what we

could do to make shelters more accessible and more friendly

to people with disabilities.

We actually purchased a cache of accessibility

tools which includes ramps, includes transfer boards,

shower seats, toilet seat adapters, eating tools, other

tools needed to help people with disabilities be more

independent in a normal shelter.

We had a $3 million grant from the Department of

Homeland Security for preparedness, and approximately ten

percent of that grant went to this cache of accessibility

tools.

We actually had a current proposal in for another

round of Homeland Security grants to actually double that

capacity from the ability to serve 640 people with

disabilities to serving 1,360 with disabilities.

Next slide, please.

Federal changes since Hurricane Katrina. FEMA has

hired a specific disabilities coordinator. Those of you --

some of you may know her, Cindy Daniel, who -- she spends

some time at NOD.

The new deputy administrator for grants, who came

aboard in the last year of the prior administration, came

from the disability community. He came from a

developmental disability organization called the National

Children's Center. That's Ross Ashley, who is still

serving in his capacity under President Obama.

It included accessible buses and ambulance --

ambulances in the evacuation plans. They developed a go

kit of accessibility tools for shelters.

The cache that I mentioned that my chapter

purchased was modelled after the go kit -- after FEMA's go

kits, and it promoted the need for medical-needs sheltering

or functional-medical-support sheltering for those people

whose disabilities were severe enough that they required

caregivers and might not have their own -- might not have

their own caregiver available. Because in a general

shelter, unfortunately there is no ability to have trained

caregivers available to support specific needs.

Next slide, please.

There was a request for the list of my cache items.

I believe that I can provide that. I'll need to

double-check. But I can at least give you a general

summary, if not the list of model numbers. So I can at

least provide a generalized list, if not the specifics.

And I'll try and do that after the -- provide that through

the Pass It On Center after this presentation.

Department of Homeland Security, the parent agency

of FEMA, has an Office of Special Needs and has been

convening an Interagency Collaboration Counsel on

disabilities and special needs since actually before

Katrina. But it was energized and expanded after Katrina.

There was a ruling by Department of Justice in 2007

that all shelters must be accessible. The -- prior to

that, there was just generally accepted that the buildings

must be ADA compliant. But as we all know, buildings can

be ADA compliant and still not be accessible if they were

built before 1990 and have not been retrofitted.

The Department of Justice made a specific statement

and issued an official ruling saying that, if the building

is grandfathered pre-1990 and is not fully accessible, then

it is not legal to use as a shelter even if it's legal to

use in its normal role, whether that be a school, a

community center, because it's grandfathered out of the ADA

standards.

Something of particular interest, and we'll cover

it more in the next slide, HHS has developed guidance for

replacing some DME after major disasters. The key phrase

there, however, is "major disasters."

Next slide, please.

FEMA has worked with the U.S. Department of Health

and Human Services to replace DME lost and damaged in

disasters. However, it may be limited to only the largest

disasters.

That would be a presidentially declared major

disaster that is not only declared a major disaster but a

major disaster with individual assistance being offered.

And that is a small number of the total disasters each

year.

It will take time after the disaster to set it up,

and it will require a supply of new equipment to be

available. It may not cover all DME, and it's not clear if

it covers any or all AT. Many of the guidelines are still

under development and have yet to be tested.

So it's a stopgap for the largest disasters, but it

still makes clear there is a need for reutilized AT and

reutilized DME for almost any disaster. So that just

reiterates our need.

Whether it's FEMA money or Medicaid, as the

question just went up, I don't know the answer to that.

Whether -- in either case it would be an emergency

authorization, and it could be FEMA money flowing through

Medicaid.

But in any case, the key point here, whether this

is FEMA money, Medicaid money, FEMA money coming through

Medicaid, is that it is only for the largest disasters, and

it will not be there in the immediate impact of the

disaster. It will be further down the line during the

recovery period.

Next slide, please.

Again, coming back to the need. Why is there a

need for the reutilization AT projects to be available in

disaster?

Since DME and AT are not on emergency management

radar, it's unclear how it would be replaced if not covered

by FEMA and HHS. And even where it is covered by FEMA and

HHS, it's not clear how quickly those programs could come

online.

So you may be the last best hope for those impacted

in disasters to get the AT or DME that they need to get

back to life or to get back to normalcy or some semblance

of normalcy.

Next slide, please.

I think we're up to George's discussion.

George, are you ready?

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Thank you so much, Elliot. I

hope all of you can see why we have Elliot on board with

us, working with us with the Pass It On Center.

And George, it's your turn. Take it away.

And thank you all once again for being so patient

with us as we flip through these slides. So I think we've

got the rhythm down now of where everything is. But thanks

for your patience.

George, take it away.

GEORGE HEAKE: Hi, everyone. Thanks for attending

the webinar. That was some great information from Elliot.

My goal in my part of this presentation is really

to bring some examples from the field that we did in

response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and how that fits

in with the material that Elliot has presented and also

some topics that will be for discussion in future webinars.

Next slide, please.

Some of our challenges from the very beginning --

to set the stage -- one, not only am I from Temple

University, I'm from the Pennsylvania Initiative on

Assistive Technology, PIAT, which is at the Institute on

Disabilities, which is also the University Center of

Excellence for Developmental Disables in the State of

Pennsylvania.

It important to mention not only are we a statewide

organization, we're a statewide organization in a state

that is a commonwealth. And I'll come back to that a

little bit later. That kind of adds to what I call the

political fog of actually accomplishing things and who to

contact.

We basically got a call from Julie Nesbit in LATAN,

needed some equipment. DME relief was totally uncharted

territory for the institute. We had not ever responded,

nor had we done anything in regards to emergency

preparedness or response.

It was definitely a painful journey of trial and

error. But I am here to say you can accomplish some

successful things by making many, many mistakes. It just

takes a while longer.

And to follow up on something that Elliot had said,

it's really very important to know the system, to know

what -- the National Incident Management System, NIMS, and

everything else. The National Response Framework is

another starting point.

But as you're learning that, I encourage you -- all

of you that decide to participate in any part of the

system, you really have to engage your local county and

emergency management agency which then connects with the

state, et cetera. And we'll come back to that.

We were not part of any response system, as Elliot

said. We were outside of the system. We had no idea what

an in-kind agency (audio skip).

I would hear that UPS was donating shipping. I

said, well -- I'd write them and say, "Hey, can you ship

some walkers for us?" And they'd -- sometimes rudely --

actually, UPS was a little rudely -- I apologize for

anybody that has anybody related to UPS employment -- but

they wrote back and like, "Who are you?"

So I was getting that a lot, and I was making

notes. Who am I? Hmmm ... We'll come back to that.

We weren't part of the Red Cross system, the VOAD

system, which is Voluntary Organizations Active in

Disasters. We basically were flying by the seat of our

pants -- literally by the seat of our pants.

We were questioning whether we'd fill a van. We

ended up filling up a Redway semi, but it took a lot of

money through donations from a couple of other UASIs,

support from the university, the community.

We did not have any storage space, aka warehouse

space; absolutely no funding; and we did not have a

donation plan in place. Make a note of that: Did not have

a donation plan.

When we finally got the word out, we had people

approach us about wanting to donate money specifically to

fuel or transportation. Because of our structure within

the university, we weren't sure how to do that. We were

trying to do gas to rent a truck, and it got very

complicated. But we were able to accomplish a lot. It

took a lot of effort, and it was not done alone.

I need to preface -- this whole presentation is

never, never, never overlook who a possible champion might

be.

At the university -- I've told this story many

times -- you think that the Psychology Department or Social

Work Department would be the first ones to rally to help

us. It really wasn't. It was the facility people. It was

the police. It was the maintenance. It was operations

that just -- they didn't question what we needed, just when

and where.

And we ended up having a donation activity at the

very end to bring things together, but it was somewhat of a

religious experience.

Next slide.

Lessons learned. One of the most important

lessons, in all of us being from -- a lot of us being from

AT groups or service providers for people with

disabilities, I think the natural response is to go within

agencies that we work with from day in and day out.

And probably one of the most important lessons we

learned from our first Katrina relief is -- because we did

a second one -- was to kind of break out of that comfort

zone.

Elliot has a great slide that he did at a

conference, a row of silos. What this slide shows is that

cylinder is kind of our own agency, how we normally

disseminate information.

Oh, we're going to have a conference. We usually

send all our requests down this same funnel, and it comes

back, and you get a certain amount of people showing up

that -- mini conferences and everything else.

What we learned and what we had incredible results

from was also to disseminate into the mainstream, in the

community and the city and the state.

And what I mean by that is one of our biggest --

can you hear me now?

All right. Sorry about that.

The slide in front of you, as I was saying,

breaking out into the mainstream really has a lot of

benefits.

One of the key benefits is sustainability. To this

day, I still get requests for donations of durable medical

equipment from that file (audio skip)... printed back in

2005.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Hey, everybody. Thank you for

hanging in there. I know George is going to try and get

back on. So I'm going to release the mic. But thank you

for hanging in there.

And George?

GEORGE HEAKE: Can you hear me now? Test.

All right. Here we go again.

Anyway, you need to break out into the general

community. It's just -- it will help ongoing progress as

you move forward. And also think for more than five

seconds before raising your hand to volunteer. Very key.

Next slide, please.

Best practices. Central tracking system. Keep it

simple. Bar coding. What comes in, what goes out. Follow

up with donors with summary of donations to let them know

that they help contribute to the success of any effort.

Follow up with thank-you notes. That's kind of a

no-brainer, but it's amazing what people forget about. And

if you have the capacity to send a handwritten note or

something in the mail, it's kind of unusual nowadays of our

high-tech society.

Capture all contact information of who successful

donors were, who gave you feedback, who supported you

otherwise.

This was pretty much from our first response.

After that, we created the Temple VOAD. I believe it was

the first university Voluntary Organization Active in

Disasters.

As soon as we did that, we were part of the in-kind

system. We ended up getting logistics support from

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, FEMA Region 3,

and ongoing.

The second time we did it -- about six months we

did a second relief. Snyder heard about what we did. They

donated a 53-foot trailer. The driver donated his time.

We were able to send that truck down for about a thousand

dollars as opposed to over $10,000 with Roadway, who did

not give us any break.

And it was ongoing. We were able to get donated

warehouse space out regionally in the outlying suburbs so

we could do kind of a staging effect. It was very easy to

do it.

Also with feedback from Julie of what was really

needed, we were a little more assertive in what we accepted

and what we sent down there. We kind of learned to say,

"No, we don't need that right now."

We also were -- learned a lot better how to ask if

things were working. Because broken things did not help

us. So that was part of the learning experience as well as

we moved forward.

Also with capturing your contact information, try

to -- in categories. Periodically, if you have any kind of

agency newsletter, include them in your general

dissemination outreach and as it's ongoing.

The problem is to sustain or keep that passion of

responding to a disaster. Post Katrina and Rita, everybody

was, "Oh, let's help," and, you know, "We need to get what

we can down to the gulf."

Well, that kind of wanes. That enthusiasm wanes.

And to kind of keep it going is a challenge, and you really

need to engage with the community. So the first thing,

contacting -- connecting with your local emergency groups

and entities is key, and it's very important.

Next slide.

I'm just going to mention this real briefly. I got

a call from Cindy Daniels on a Saturday on my cell phone at

home that said, "Hey, George. I hear you have a durable

medical program at the Institute on Disabilities."

I said, "No, we don't. We have that reputation.

We have no funding. We have no warehouse," et cetera,

et cetera.

She said, "FEMA should be able to support that."

Anyway, through other political difficulties that

she was faced with, in her defense, I would then officially

request DME from FEMA, and I had set a plan in motion.

Lesson learned, kind of get things in writing, perhaps.

I always like to lean on the positive side. The

good result was that I had DME coming. People knew of our

reputation before, so we were able to gather -- through

generosity of the university, we have some storage space.

I still have DME that I try to get down to Iowa,

the gulf, Texas in regards to Gustav and Ike. Still a lot

of political problems of getting stuff.

Part of -- you know, Cindy wasn't aware of the

Temple VOAD at the time, and it was hard to engage. We've

learned since then of what to do.

What you see here is something that I did on Google

Maps as I was pulling together DME. Can you click on that

link that's above the map without -- what this is is

simply -- is something we did in Google Maps -- I did in

Google Maps of showing where we picked up equipment and

what still needed to be picked up.

And what was nice about this, it was free; very

easy to do, even if you have limited technical ability; and

you're able to share it with anybody around the world.

We had people asking me questions. I would point

them to the map. It was a good, free way of getting

publicity out about what we were trying to do.

This was when gas was like 4.50 a gallon. So

people -- it was pretty hard to get people to deliver

stuff. So we could all look at a map.

Agencies could look at it. FEMA could look at it.

HHS could look at it. And we got many hits on this. And

something very simple to do. And we can save the

discussion of Gustav and Ike to possibly a future policy

webinar as well.

In closing, I guess one of the most important

things is -- to follow up with what Elliot had said -- it's

important to know what the system is. Sometimes the system

can be very overwhelming in learning it.

What is another challenge is the emergency system

just doesn't list disabilities by itself. It's kind of

enveloped in what's called either "special populations" or

"special-needs populations."

I think what will happen over a number of years,

when they're -- now they're trying to break the response

and planning to functional needs in regards to those

populations of who actually needs assistance.

For example, not all blind people or visually

impaired people would need help in time of emergency. But

who out of those people would need help with mobility,

independence, supervision, et cetera?

So I encourage you to learn the system but not to

hold you back from getting involved. You might want to get

involved to -- at different points of -- whether just

storing equipment or AT or distributing.

I think there will be a lot of opportunities.

There's a lot of stuff you can do with minimal funding and

additional funding. And as you prove as you go, you have a

little bit more leverage as you look at the various grant

systems that are coming in response to stimulus packages

and other traditional grant instruments as well.

Also related to economy, I had one simple central

line on our VOAD site. We need donated warehouse space.

And as the economy slides a bit, we had a response from a

property manager up in Manhattan saying, "Hey, do we get

any kind of tax relief or credit for donated warehouse

space?"

I said, "Well, as far as I know, you wouldn't get a

disaster relief credit because that has to be declared

nationally. But you'll get the typical nonprofit,

et cetera, et cetera."

We turn around, we had -- it was somewhere around

73,000 to 140,000 square feet of donated warehouse space

because they couldn't rent it out, but they were willing to

give it to us for three to five years. That's still going

through legal discussions as well.

So although the economy is in a bad place, there's

a lot of opportunities to kind of support a national effort

in this regard.

It's an incredible way to also sustain and

disseminate information about what your own organization

does. I have had more leverage with that accessible

information technology within the framework of emergency

preparedness than ever before.

And also with the various AT programs, it's a good

venue and an important venue to discuss accessible weather

alert AT, phone systems, et cetera.

So it can be ongoing for what you do on a daily

basis. And hopefully we won't have to respond to a lot of

emergencies.

But you need to get engaged. You can't just sit on

the sidelines. And you won't hear me make too many sport

references, but you really need to step up and develop your

own style of what I call diplomatic arrogance. And once

you show that you're not going to go away, you probably

will be allowed in the planning process.

And I would say 98 percent of the time emergency

management organizations don't have too many staff. They

need the help in regards to disability planning and special

needs planning, et cetera, AT.

And there's another big focus on alert systems and

how do we get the message out. It's a prime time to get

involved and to develop all our AT systems across the

country. And this is a great time to put together a system

like that.

That's all I got.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Thank you very much. We really

appreciate that, George. Great job.

And wanted to also welcome George to the team.

He's working with the Pass It On Center now, too, along

with Elliot and everyone else.

If y'all have any questions, feel free to ask

George. But we're going to go ahead and move forward with

Elliot. He's -- we're going to have him -- bring him back

on to answer some other questions and continue the

presentation.

So thank you, Elliot.

Thank you, George.

ELLIOT HARKAVY: Before we move the slide, the

one -- I like five -- I like four of the five links. The

FEMA Regional Contacts, that may be something to hold off

until you're really established in your local community and

perhaps in your state. Then would be the time to move on

to the regional contacts. The other links, those are

things you should be looking at as soon as possible.

So next slide.

Okay. We've been talking about helping as if

there's one way to help. In reality, there are multiple

roles that your center can play. And some of these roles

do not require you to move out of your current comfort

zone, while others would require serious networking with

information, with the organizations on the ground in your

community or in an impacted community.

So you can look at which of these roles you might

want to play in the near future and then further out there

and build your plan accordingly. You don't have to play

all of them. You can pick and choose.

So among the roles you can play would be

collection, if there's a need -- if there's a specific

need. Let's say you're in Philadelphia, and there's a need

in Texas. If Texas were to put out its needs and get in

touch with you, you can merely just collect the items that

are needed.

Then there's coordination of the state and local

networks. Making sure that, if you're in Philadelphia,

you're collecting certain things. But maybe not everything

is on your plate. Maybe someone in Pittsburgh is

collecting things. Maybe someone in Harrisburg is

collecting things.

You can keep in coordination with each other so you

get what's needed and not a hundred thousand things -- a

hundred thousand of the same item when only ten are needed

and miss the other item where one thousand may be needed.

There's transportation. As George just mentioned,

one of his big problems in Katrina was how to get it from

here to there. And if you have transportation assets that

might be of use and you have the ability to make them

available, that could be a role for you to play.

But again, that goes back to the coordination of

the state and national networks that you're working with

everyone else and not against others.

And then there is what everyone thinks of, the

hands on the ground. The people identifying the specific

needs; transmitting those needs to or through the network;

when items come in, assessing, matching, servicing the

goods that come in.

And we'll have a discussion in just a moment about

GOODS and STUFF. And after that, you will know the

difference between GOODS and STUFF.

And arranging for that distribution. This doesn't

have to be one agency doing all of it, but it could be.

Part of it is what are you willing to do and what do you

have the expertise and the capacity to do?

Next slide, please.

Okay. The Adventist Disaster Services are the true

subject matter experts on managing in-kind donations during

disaster. They know everything there is to know or at

least everything that has been documented by major players

to date in terms of transporting, sorting, storing, and

distributing in-kind donations.

They categorize donations into two categories. The

first category is STUFF. And you thought you knew what

"STUFF" means, but you didn't realize that it was an

acronym.

STUFF actually stands for "surplus trash useless to

frantic folk." It's all the stuff that everyone cleans out

of their closets every time they hear there's a disaster.

Now, I don't know about you, but personally I don't

think the first thing that people were looking for in the

98 degree heat of Biloxi, Mississippi, in the aftermath of

Katrina were winter coats. But we had plenty of winter

coats donated.

GOODS. GOODS are again -- it's an acronym.

"Gleanings out of Donated Stuff." GOODS are five percent

of STUFF.

The photos that you see are the graveyards of the

leftover STUFF that were sent down to the center that my

disaster recovery center was in -- in the shopping center

that my disaster recovery center was in in Biloxi,

Mississippi. That's the 95 percent of wasted STUFF after

the GOODS were sorted out.

Next slide, please.

One way to make sure that what you're sending down

are GOODS rather than STUFF is coordinating with the people

on the ground who know what's needed and only send what is

needed as it's needed.

So questions to address as you build your plan and

move forward. The logistics are going to be the biggest

issue to cover. How will you collect the items for reuse;

sort, clean, refurbish, store, and catalog the items for

reuse?

Web-based catalog for easy access during

emergencies would be great. I don't know if that

technology is out there and is available for immediate use.

That may be a long-term goal of the national program.

How do -- how will these items be distributed? How

will they be staged and sorted for transport? How will you

be getting it there in a way that gets it to where it needs

to go without interfering with other resources going down

there? That's going to require coordination with the

people on the ground and the people at the staging areas

along the way.

When there is a major disaster, not only is there

the end zone in the affected area, there are usually

staging areas before that. And perhaps all that you're

going to be able to do is get it to one of those staging

areas to be cross-loaded with other supplies.

Coordinate with the agencies on the ground, and

they will be the best way for getting it to where it needs

to go and any stages in between.

And how will those items be supported once they're

distributed? You all know what your support needs are when

you distribute an item. Think about how that's going to

impact the people on the ground.

Next slide.

Okay. There are going to be regulatory issues.

What to be concerned about? I'll leave that for Jessica to

talk about during the policy discussion.

A key thing is to capture lessons learned. What

has been done that can be used by other organizations or

even your own organization the next time this is done? And

what is needed to meet the AT needs of the impacted people

with disabilities?

Again, messaging is going to be a key issue. How

do we reach the partners and clients to let them know we're

here and we can help? What training is required for your

response and recovery partners to raise their awareness to

facilitate optimal utilization?

The people who might have that first contact with

the client may not be from a disability organization, may

not be from your partner on the ground. It may be the

local Red Cross or the local Salvation Army or the local

Department of Human Services on the ground who has that

immediate contact with the client and is identifying the

client's needs.

How is the message going to get to them that you

have product that they need? And how is the message going

to get from them to you that they need a specific product?

And part of that is going to be the handshake

that's done before disaster between the local organization

in the affected area and their local Red Cross, their local

Salvation Army, their local VOAD, their local Department of

Human Services, their local emergency management so that

they know, if AT or DME is needed, that they will -- that

they can go through the local organization to the national

and statewide networks.

Next.

A key thing here and a key rule is you can't help

others if you are the disaster victim. Your organization

needs to have a continuity-of-operations plan.

A statistic from a month after 9/11 in New York

City: Those organizations that were in the exclusion zone

around the World Trade Center that had a continuity of

operations were almost all still in business a month

afterwards, and those that did not have a

continuity-of-operations plan were already out of business.

And that plan doesn't need to be expensive. It

doesn't need to be complex. But it needs to cover the key

basis. And there's some potential discussion for another

one.

You also need to make sure that your team members

are prepared to be in the response and, therefore, may be

separated from their families and that they have individual

plans on how they're going to deal with their own disaster

and how their family is going to deal with their disaster,

perhaps, without them.

You can't help someone -- it's just like in an

airplane. Put your own mask on before you help someone

else.

I can't repeat this enough. The key to success

here is going to be building relationships with a key

response group. Your local emergency management; your

local Red Cross chapter; your Department of Health or

Department of Human Services or Department of Family

Services or Department of Social Services; your local VOAD

organization, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

Someone mentioned an open source program called

SAHANA. Before you look at that, look at what tools you

currently have, and look at what other tools are out there

that emergency management is using.

Next -- next slide.

Again, work with the key response groups. Educate

yourself. Expand services based on successes based on your

capacity.

If you're not successful in your first attempt,

learn your lessons. Try again until you're successful. If

you are successful, learn your lessons and be more

successful.

Next slide.

These are some key courses to consider taking. If

you want to be involved in a federally declared disaster,

you need to take the 100, 200, 700, and 800 level courses

on ICS, NIMS, and the National Response Framework.

There's some other courses there that will also --

you should strongly consider taking. It should take two to

three hours, maybe a little more, maybe a little less,

depending on your knowledge base. But they're all

worthwhile taking.

Next slide, please.

Okay. Jessica, this is you.

JESSICA BRODEY: Hi, everyone. We're going to just

briefly touch on a few policy concerns.

I know that Elliot mentioned that, when you get

involved in a disaster, there's some regulatory concerns.

And that is a discussion that we are going to table for

another day because it really is fairly in-depth.

But one of those things that you should look into

has to do with jurisdiction, when do you have the right to

get involved and who is in charge and who has authority and

what kinds of services can be provided in a disaster.

And those are really the regulatory concerns that

you have to understand in order to be able to provide

services.

The other policy concerns that we really want to

talk about are sort of policy and liability issues for your

program if you're thinking of getting involved in disaster

recovery or responding to a disaster with reutilized

devices.

First of all, with respect to your insurance, do

you have coverage for the activities that you're selecting?

Meaning, if you send individuals to disaster zones, will

your insurance cover that?

Does your transportation -- your insurance cover

the transportation of these goods?

What about the collection and storage of the goods?

Do you have storage facilities that your insurance is

appropriately covering?

The next issue that we have with respect to policy

is, do you have written policies and procedures for your

emergency response activities? What roles do you want to

play? What locations you will cover, what individuals you

will serve, who will be involved, who is qualified to do

those things, who your partners are going to be, where

you're going to stage the different responses that you're

going to provide.

Do you have memorandums of understanding or

contacts with the key organizations with whom you want to

partner?

For example, if you're going to be collecting

goods, do you have a contract on standby with a storage

facility, or do you have written contract with a parking

lot that says you can put everything in the parking lot?

If you're going to be transporting it, do you have

a written agreement with your transporting agency? If

you're going to have to hire out people.

If you're going to have a collection from Goodwill

for the things that you collect that you don't want to

disburse, do you have that set up with Goodwill that they

can come and clear it out before -- let's say the parking

lot where you're using to stage everything needs to be

opened up to the public again.

The other thing that Elliot had mentioned before is

your organizational COOP, your continuity-of-operations

plan -- how many of you have that written down? If the

emergency that's happening is in your area, have you

selected a place where you're going to meet up and

reconnect so that you all can know how you're going to

serve groups?

So as you're moving forward, these are sort of the

initial policy concerns that you, as an organization,

should be considering in order to provide services in a

disaster response.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Thank you so much. That was

excellent, Jessica.

And do y'all have any questions for Jessica before

we move forward or for Elliot or George?

All right. We'll move forward. And feel free to

ask any questions that you may have.

And, Jane, I saw that you requested that we put

those links in our reminder e-mail. We certainly will.

Liz looked at me and said, yep, she'll take care of

that. So no worries.

Wanted to let y'all know, the big reason -- one of

the big reasons why we're focusing on emergency

preparedness is because y'all have asked for it. It's one

of those things that, again and again, we as the AT reuse

community, the AT Act programs, we get a lot of requests.

And this is one of the areas that we're having a lot of

requests in.

So we really wanted to focus on that and help y'all

as y'all are meeting the needs of folks who are desperate.

As Elliot pointed out before, it really does become a

crisis, an individual crisis sometimes. And if we get

prepared for the little ones, then we can be prepared for

the big ones.

RSA also has made this an important initiative.

When they funded this -- the Pass It On Center, the main

goal was to increase the availability of assistive

technology in promoting and supporting appropriate and

effective reutilization at a state level.

Here we go. Okay. Sorry about that.

And when -- actually, Jeremy created this slide.

And what is appropriate? And we have to think about this.

And we think about this in the terms of reuse when it comes

to emergencies. Is it safe for the consumers? Are the

results going to be a positive outcome for consumers? Do

we just want to throw equipment at people? And we all know

that's not what we want to do.

Also, are we handling this in an environmentally

friendly way? And they can show that we are indeed doing

those things when we think about what's appropriate.

Also, effective. Once again, is it meeting the

needs of the consumer? Just like Elliot and George were

pointing out before, we don't necessarily need to send a

bunch of equipment and then it becomes STUFF instead of

something that is actually important or useful.

Does it have a cost savings? Is it better to get a

wheelchair reused and get it down to somebody or up to

somebody that's in an emergency situation or to give them

a, you know, card where they could go buy a wheelchair

somewhere or something like that?

Also making sure that our efforts around this are

sustainable and that we have a positive or neutral effect

on the field. That's very important.

When we're focusing on AT reuse, there are lots of

reasons why we're doing this. But Hurricane Katrina, no

doubt, is one of the big reasons.

And the big thing that we're trying to do at the

Pass It On Center is help you be prepared, all of us across

the country. And we know that "emergency" actually means

different things depending on where you are in the country.

The federal government has defined "emergency" in a

very specific way, as we all know. There are things that

happen every day that are emergencies.

When I was out in Montana last summer, I was so

surprised. I had never seen a forest fire before. And as

I flew in, you know, the hill in Montana that we were

flying in, you know, above actually was totally, you know,

on fire.

And that was a pretty scary situation for a lot of

folks. And I would absolutely argue that that is indeed an

emergency. If it's your house and it catches on fire,

that's an emergency.

So what we're trying to do is make sure that we can

address and not stay in a box of "It's only a hurricane" or

"It's only an earthquake," it's only, you know, or certain

emergencies, but looking at the bigger picture and making

sure that we're there for that flood, that we're there for

that fire, what have you.

So the Pass It On Center, we're actively providing

technical assistance about reuse, but we're also looking

specifically into emergency preparedness, emergency

response.

We want to work with y'all to identify and educate

about successful practices and what are quality indicators,

specifically, once again, looking at emergency preparedness

and emergency response.

And then we want to work on establishing and

coordinating a national collaborative approach to this.

And we've got some different ideas around how to do that,

and we want your input. That's the main thing here. We

really want your input.

So we are going to talk to you a little bit about

our website so you have an idea of where we are right now.

And you can give us some ideas of where you think we ought

to be headed. And also we can give you some ideas of where

we think we're headed.

So I actually have up here our website. This is

our home page. Liz is actually one of the people that

helps coordinate this website.

We really appreciate you, Liz, doing that.

And if you actually were to click on the center

block, it actually says "Pass It On Center is pleased to

announce our knowledge base." We have, within our

knowledge base -- and I'm going to show you this in just a

few minutes -- our emergency preparedness information.

And we really want to thank LATAN because you,

Jamie, and your team have actually given us some great

information that we've put in there.

And then also over to the left side of our website,

we actually have a map of the United States. Right now if

you click on that, that gives you all the different AT

reuse programs that have registered with -- at NATTAP

originally, and then now they're -- they're going --

working with us.

This is an interactive map. You can sign up. You

can, you know, log -- and we hope you do if you have a

reuse program -- will go ahead and log in, register your

reuse program so that we can find you.

So we want to see if there's a way to use this map

so that we can communicate more effectively about where is

the equipment during an emergency? Who has equipment? And

all of that.

So right now, if you were to click on that map, it

takes you to this page, which is "Find Reuse Locations,"

interactive map where you can actually click on any state.

We also have the territories listed to the left. And right

now we have all -- I think there's only four states that

don't have any reuse program listed.

A lot of people are surprised how many reuse

programs there are in their state. I'd encourage you to

check out that information. Let us know if it's correct,

if it's not correct. Then get in touch with Liz, and she

can talk with you in more detail about that.

Okay. So -- and what I did is I actually captured

the screen. But I actually clicked on Louisiana. And up

popped LATAN's program. And they actually have a program

named "Emergency Equipment Distribution."

And so this is the basic information about their

program. And we would encourage you, if you have a program

that's focused on emergency response, to go ahead and list

it here but also to communicate with us about that so that

we'll be aware.

What we're trying to figure out is if there's a way

that we can actually connect all of this so that it makes a

lot of sense for all of us to know quickly where -- who

has, you know, thousands of pieces of equipment; who has

just a few but very specialized pieces of equipment; and

then if you have equipment that's available just in case

there's an emergency and how quickly could you get that

equipment out.

And working within the system. Just like Elliot

and George were talking about before, making sure that we

are working within VOAD system; that we actually know what

a VOAD is; that we are familiar with our partners on a

local, state, regional, and national level, and doing that

as a collaborative.

The next piece that I wanted to show you on our

website is our knowledge base.

And actually it looks like, Jane, you had a

question. I'm going to actually have Liz read that to us.

So give me just a second. And here we go.

LIZ PERSAUD: Hey, Jane. This is Liz at the Pass

It On Center. And your comment: "One thing to remember.

When you send your inventory to another state, it's a good

thing to do what we did in LATAN. You don't -- don't have

for your state consumers or numbers for -- our numbers went

down for that year for RSA -- that your numbers went down

for that year."

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Okay. Yeah. That's definitely

important to remember.

And we have talked about that with RSA. And what

does that look like whenever we're focused, you know, on

this collaborative effort, it does make some of our state

numbers not look as strong as they would normally.

And, Jane, thanks for bringing that up. We'll make

sure that we keep that in mind.

The knowledge base. And a lot of you have been

hitting our knowledge base and visiting it. And we're so

thankful that you're -- for all the positive feedback, and

I'm glad y'all like it. It continues to grow.

So the knowledge base actually is what I have

pictured up here. It's a screen capture -- captured screen

of that website.

And I wanted just to let you know that on the left

there's a list of our modules. The first one actually is

"Emergency Preparedness." And if you click on the

"Emergency Preparedness" module, then it brings you to a

bunch of documents that we have right now.

And many of these documents -- they've all been

donated, pretty much -- but it continues to grow, you know,

the list of documents related to AT reuse and emergency

preparedness and emergency response.

And LATAN actually has been contributing to this

along with Kansas. And we appreciate both of y'all doing

that.

And, for example, if you click on that, then you

actually would get to the shelter process, which is one

document that Louisiana let us borrow and share with all of

you.

And I clicked on, and there's a flowchart actually

that is a very helpful tool for looking at how your

shelter, you know, could be. You know, it asks you

questions, yes, no, and moves you through this flowchart of

getting towards -- even closer, hopefully, to accessible

shelters.

I was asking going to turn this over to Jamie for a

few minutes so that she can talk to us a little bit more

about the memorandum of agreement that they have.

So, Jamie, take it away.

JAMIE KARAM: We have been, over the past few

years, trying to do what Elliot said and to be prepared and

have an actual structure in place if you're ever faced

with, you know, emergency preparedness and response to

large-scale disasters.

We have some memorandums of understanding or

agreement in place now, and they're always a work in

progress. So you're never going to have a final document,

even if you have a signature on it, because you're always

having to revisit it every year or after every response.

We have one that's still a draft version, but it's

very close to being signed. And I think it will be in

place for this hurricane season starting June 1st.

It is with our Department of Social Services, who

is responsible for the state shelters, whether it be

critical-transportation-need shelters or

medical-special-need shelters.

And we're also hopefully going to get it signed

with the amendments, of course, with the American Red Cross

for the general-population shelters.

What it deals with is the prestaging of assistive

technology in the shelters across our state. You know, we

have shelters throughout the state, mostly in the northern

part and the central part because usually our disasters

here, as you know, are mostly hurricanes in the southern

and southwest portion of our state.

We are hoping to -- you know, on another page of

this MOU, it shows you the devices that we're hoping to

prestage. And they include, you know, simple DME in

addition to communication boards a TDD, perhaps a CCTV. I

think that's a pipe dream of mine. But we're hoping to

have those prestaged in the shelters.

And we have DSS, Department of Social Services.

Louisiana Rehab Services, in particular, has -- with the

U.S. Department of Justice, with the help of Ollie Cantos,

has done accessibility surveys on our shelters, and they

are not going to be using the ones that are not accessible

this time. So we're very, you know, heartened by that

news.

We have the new shelter in Alexandria. And we're

really hoping that this MOU from the ground up will help us

get all the roles and responsibilities in place.

Our role and responsibility is to provide it, to

provide training to the shelter personnel, you know. And

we have the AT flowchart in place so they know who might

need assistive technology while they're in the sheltering

process.

Also, we have been involved with lots of agencies

and VOADs across the state in what we call the Emergency

Management Disability and Aging Coalition, EMDAC, as I

familiarly call it.

And, you know, we have our Department of Health and

Hospitals, our Department of Social Services, American Red

Cross, our P&A agency, the Alzheimer's Association, the ALS

Association, of course us, the AT Act program. We're all

involved in this Emergency Management Disability and Aging

Coalition.

And through that we have a bill in our state

legislature that we hope will get passed this session. And

it will indemnify volunteers who volunteer their time to be

caregivers so that people with disabilities can stay in

general-population shelters and not have to go to a

medical-special-needs shelter if they don't need to.

Volunteers will be screened. We're recruiting as

we speak. And LATAN is involved in the training of these

volunteer caregivers. Especially we're doing the training

piece on assistive technology. And we're going to be using

the AT that we're prestaging in the shelters.

Unfortunately, our state appropriations is kind

of -- we're worried about it right now. We're continuing

our education efforts here in the state with our

legislature, but right now it is in dire straits.

Our state appropriations is being cut by

two-thirds. And I'm not sure where we're going to get the

funding to prestage this equipment. So I am on the lookout

for funding.

And we'll be looking to reuse equipment that is

donated to us on our recycling database. But as everyone

knows, that's only one component. It's all the components

coming together for large-scale disaster response.

But, please, if anybody has any questions, I would

love to answer them and share with you because I want the

whole nation to, you know, be ready to respond to any

disaster. And whatever we've done that you can adapt,

please go for it.

Thank you.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Excellent, Jamie. Thank you so

much. We really appreciate that.

We do actually have a few folks that have some

questions. One is from the Pass It On Center. And we

wanted to ask if we could actually get a copy of that

legislation, whenever -- as you're working on it just so we

could have the, you know, language. That would be very,

very helpful. So if you could answer that question.

And then I'm also going to go ahead and -- I have

two more questions -- or three that Elliot's asked. And so

Liz is going to actually ask you those.

LIZ PERSAUD: Hey, Jamie. This is Liz. And Elliot

asked, "Does this legislation also indemnify the sheltering

organization from any actions performed by those

caregivers?"

JAMIE KARAM: I believe the number is House Bill

454, but don't quote me on it. I will check my e-mails

afterwards and send you and Elliot an e-mail, and y'all can

distribute it.

It was worked on by lawyers from the Department of

Health and Hospitals, the Department of Social Services,

our governor's office for Homeland Security and Emergency

Prepared, and American Red Cross.

LIZ PERSAUD: Okay. A few more comments and

questions from Elliot.

"A key issue for Red Cross, FEMA, Salvation Army

regarding third-party caregivers 'is' the

general-population shelters is: Who will certify the

caregivers? Who will manage the caregivers? What

responsibility will the shelter managing organization have

for managing the caregivers?"

JAMIE KARAM: If they're not already registered

with the American Red Cross, we have a place in our

Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Public Health

called LAVA, L-A-V-A. And it is a database where

volunteers can register. And they are screened, whether it

be for volunteer caregiving or nurse or nurse practitioners

or physicians.

They are screened. They are -- what do you call

it? References are checked. But for the volunteer

caregivers, everything is checked out, and they will have

to go through our training.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Thank you so much, Jamie. Once

again, we really appreciate the collaboration that we have

with you and your expertise that you're sharing with us and

all these great -- all this great information.

And it looks like that Jane Gay has a question.

And I'm actually going to turn this next slide over to

Jessica and Elliot. And then we're going to wrap up.

We really appreciate you hanging with us. This is,

as you know, a very important topic and one that actually

continues to grow as we learn more. So we'll have -- it

looks like actually we'll have Liz read this question, and

then I'll turn it over to Jessica and Elliot.

LIZ PERSAUD: This is Jane's question: "Is there a

COOP or a sample COOP from an AT recycling program you

could put on the website or a plan to do our own?"

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Jane, actually we can answer

that question. We'll turn it over to Jessica and Elliot to

follow this next slide, and then we'll come back to your

question. Great question.

JESSICA BRODEY: I'll talk about the next slide.

I'm not aware yet of any existing -- well, there's

an answer about the COOP plan. I'm not aware of an

existing COOP plan, but LATAN just said that they have one.

I think that Elliot may have some

non-AT-recycling-program COOP plans that he could share.

Possible topics for future webinars. We're going

to be sending out a survey and asking for feedback. And

there's a lot of different directions we can go in for the

next two webinars on emergency preparedness.

And we wanted to throw out some of the topics to

you that we could be covering and get feedback from you so

we could determine which subjects we would cover and in

what order.

So on our list -- and you're welcome to suggest

additional topics if we don't have them on here. One topic

is COOP and individual/family plans.

Second would be networking and outreach. We're

calling it "Becoming a Player." One of the things that we

think is probably most challenging for the program is

figuring out how to network, how to identify with the

parties that they need to get to know. And we could

probably go a little bit more in depth on that.

We thought we could do something about funding. We

could do something about capacity building, identifying

what roles would be appropriate for your programs and

building capacity to fulfill those roles.

Also something more about policies: How to write a

COOP; emergency response policies and procedures;

memorandum of understanding.

Another possible topic would be certifications and

training. We gave you some links to some of the courses

that are available. We could talk a little bit more about

what different certifications there are and what training

you might think is necessary.

And doing more about lessons learned and case

studies. And from that we would focus on lessons learned

from our existing projects who have done them.

So those are our list of topics. Please feel free

to suggest some, and please let us know which of these

topics you would like us to really cover in our future

webinars.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Excellent. Yes. Thank you so

much, Jessica.

And I also want to thank Jamie and George. Thank

you very much.

And Elliot, once again, really appreciate you

sharing your expertise with us.

We definitely want to hear from you about the

topics that you would like to learn about, especially

regarding this specific topic of emergency preparedness and

response.

We see our role in this as giving technical

assistance, just like we said, but also helping you grow

and be able to serve the folks in your own community.

So let us know what you would like to hear. You

can e-mail us. You can call us. Feel free. You can

connect to us also through our website and just let us know

if these topics actually would be of interest.

Jane, we definitely will -- it looked like some

people responded. Jamie said that she would be happy to

share her information on the LATAN plan. And we will make

sure that we get that and get it on the knowledge base. So

thank you for sharing that with us, Jamie.

Thank you again for all of your time and interest.

We know that time is precious, and we appreciate you

spending it with us. And we do want to hear from you, just

like we said.

Any other things that any of our other presenters

would like to share before we close, Liz?

LIZ PERSAUD: Thank you, everyone. Thanks again to

all the presenters for pulling this together. And again,

just visit us on the Pass It On Center website, check out

the knowledge base, and let us know how we can assist you.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: I especially want to send a

thank you to Liz because I have been out on leave with some

medical issues, and I really appreciate Liz pulling this

together. Thank you very much, Liz. I couldn't do it

without you.

George and Jessica and Elliot, anything else that

you want to share? Closing thoughts?