Bill Text: NJ AR215 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Urges Office of Emergency Management to address needs of people with disabilities before, during and after emergency or disaster.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-01-12 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Human Services Committee [AR215 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-AR215-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION No. 215

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 12, 2021

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Benson

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Urges Office of Emergency Management to address  needs of people with disabilities before, during and after emergency or disaster.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Assembly Resolution urging the Office of Emergency Management to address the access and functional needs of people with disabilities before, during and after emergencies and disasters.

 

Whereas, The inability to meet the access and functional needs of people with disabilities in a timely and appropriate manner during or after an emergency or disaster situation may result in severe or potentially life-threatening consequences; and

Whereas,  The current COVID-19 pandemic has created a global health emergency which has had, and continues to have, far reaching effects on the people of the State of New Jersey; and

Whereas, The present global health emergency has brought attention to some of the difficulties that people with disabilities may face during an emergency or disaster situation; and

Whereas, The COVID-19 emergency has demonstrated that people with disabilities are often disproportionately and more negatively impacted by such an emergency or disaster situation; and

Whereas, It is critically important to make information related to an emergency or disaster situation readily accessible to all people in the State, including those with vision or hearing impairments and those with developmental disabilities, so that all people may be informed and take appropriate safeguards in the event of event of an emergency, such as the present COVID-19 health crisis; and

Whereas, Dissemination of information related to such an emergency or disaster only through traditional means makes important information inaccessible for some people with disabilities, and, therefore, may put persons with disabilities at a greater risk for harm; and

Whereas, The present state of emergency created by the corona virus pandemic has impacted the ability of many people with disabilities to access transportation which in turn impacts the person's ability to obtain medical treatment and groceries, as well as the ability to get to places of employment and engage in other essential daily life activities; and

Whereas, The ongoing pandemic has placed an additional burden on entities and individuals who provide care and assistance to persons with disabilities such as group care facilities and private caregivers; and

Whereas, The Office of Emergency Management is responsible for coordinating damage and needs assessments related and in response to expected and actual emergency situations; and

Whereas, In order to manage emergency and disaster relief efforts in the State of New Jersey, the Office of Emergency Management should be aware of the needs of all persons living within the State, including those with disabilities; and

Whereas, Having knowledge of the needs of people with disabilities before, during and after the occurrence of an emergency or disaster situation will provide better opportunity for the Office of Emergency Management to coordinate an appropriate response to meet such needs in the event of a future emergency or disaster; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    The General Assembly of the State of New Jersey urges the Office of Emergency Management to address the access and functional needs of persons with disabilities before, during, and after an emergency or disaster situation in order to ensure that the needs of all residents within the State are appropriately responded to in the event of an emergency or disaster

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     2.    Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly to the Governor of the State of New Jersey, and the Director of the Office of Emergency Management.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution urges the Office of Emergency Management to address the access and functional needs of people with disabilities before, during and after an emergency or disaster situation in order to appropriately manage the State's emergency and disaster responses for all New Jersey residents.  As the COVID-19 emergency has demonstrated, people with disabilities are often disproportionately and negatively impacted during an emergency situation due to increased obstacles in meeting certain access and functional needs resulting from this public health emergency. If these needs are not met with a timely and appropriate response in such a situation, persons with disabilities may become unable to meet basic needs and become faced with dire consequences.

     Because it is the Office of Emergency Management's responsibility to direct and coordinate emergency management activities within the State for all persons living in New Jersey, this resolution urges the Office of Emergency Management to address the  access and functional needs of people who have disabilities in the event of an emergency or disaster in order to better meet these needs in the future.  

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