Addressing Barriers to Disaster Recovery for Populations that May be Disproportionately Impacted

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Addressing Barriers to Disaster Recovery for
Populations with Access and Functional Needs
Savin Ven Johnson, Sarah Grossman-Greene, Marcy Van
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Preparedness Directorate
2017 National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program
March 10, 2017
To describe FEMA’s collaborative, whole community approach to
emergency management, highlighting FEMA’s commitment to
serving the diverse community of people with access and
functional needs (AFN) and sharing some of FEMA’s ongoing work
and resources developed to address those individuals’ unique needs
To support our partners at every level and from across the nation to
take deliberate actions before, during, and after disasters to address
the needs of people with AFN in order to create more equitable post-
disaster outcomes
What are Access and Functional Needs?
AFN applies to need for
assistance, accommodation or
modification due to any situation
(temporary or permanent) that
limits an individual’s ability to
take action in an emergency
Individuals with AFN may also
include individuals defined by
the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services as “at-risk”
or “vulnerable”
Every community has members
with AFN for whom disasters
can be especially disruptive
Individuals having access and functional needs
may include, but are not limited to
individuals with disabilities, older adults, and individuals with limited
English proficiency, limited access to transportation; and/or limited
access to financial resources to prepare for, respond to, and recover
from the emergency