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National Emergency Test Forgetting People with Disability in Nevada

  • Published: 2011-11-09 : NTEF.
  • Synopsis: As residents and tourists are protected under the ADA the state city and county appear to be violating the law for failure to have persons with disabilities needs addressed in event of an emergency

Main Document

National Emergency Test, Reminds Nevada's Disabled of Discrimination - Nevada's emergency management agencies keep ignoring the needs of an increasing segment of its disabled population.

Today, the Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System conducted by FEMA, FCC and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is testing it's ability to transmit information in the event of an emergency, in accordance with Executive Order 13407. So that the President can be assured of being in communication with the nation; "It is the policy of the United States to have an effective, reliable, integrated, flexible, and comprehensive system to alert and warn the American people....and to ensure under all conditions the President can communicate with the American people.".

While everyone is aware that FEMA is charged with making sure that during the event of an emergency, there are contingency plans in place to protect the public. The term public is supposed to include everyone. Problem is, that in Nevada, they have no plans, just ongoing promises, to look into protecting certain demographics of their disabled population.

Recently a formal written complaint was submitted to the US Department of Justice naming the State of Nevada, City of Las Vegas and Clark County for discrimination in emergency management.

Being informed that a Federal Court Judge in California ordered the City of Los Angeles to incorporate all disabilities in the planning for emergencies, these government entities in Nevada ignored the ruling. Passing the buck to other agencies or completely ignoring the request for all disabilities to be incorporated in any plans for emergency management.

Governor Sandoval of Nevada, a former Federal Court Judge himself, while proclaiming October as Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Month, ignored the ruling, and refused to acknowledge the request to protect his special needs constituents.

The City of Las Vegas, located in Clark County, both rely upon tourism for their economy, so why would they keep ignoring certain disabilities from their emergency management plans? If they are ignoring the needs of their residents, what plans will be implemented for the disabled tourists in the event of an emergency? As one city employee associated with emergency management has stated "we will deal with it when the time comes".

Nevada's disabled representative to FEMA's Regional Functional Needs Working Group is one of the discriminated residents.

As these residents and tourists are fully protected under the Americans for Disability Act, the state, city and county appear to be intentionally violating the law, for failure to have their needs immediately addressed in the event of an emergency. Ongoing promises to look into this issue, does not constitute compliance with the law.

Since the state receives and disburses the federal funding for emergency management, what will the federal government do, to correct this wanton injustice to the disabled

Related Information:

  1. Disaster and Emergency Planning for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities - For people with disabilities, barrier free, as well as, barrier-ridden environments become a great deal more hostile and difficult to deal with during and after an emergency.
  2. Natural Disasters Warnings and Alerts for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities - Warnings and Alerts for Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Tornadoes and Natural Disaster Advisories for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities.

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