Emergency Preparedness, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Resilience

WID has been involved in many disability inclusive disaster preparedness and response trainings over the past decade, including the following collaborations:

WID COVID-19 Response

WID joins disability rights and emergency management experts from across the country in issuing an urgent call to action for immediate strategies and solutions from the federal government and governments at every level, including local, state, tribal and territorial, to address the specific needs of persons with disabilities throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and all public health emergencies.

WID is working in collaboration with the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, the National Council on Independent Living Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee, and other local, national, and international groups to get people with disabilities the information, care, and supports to survive this pandemic.

On May 7, 2020, WID was joined by over 200 disability rights leaders from 21 countries to discuss the needs of people with disabilities and disability-led organizations in rapid disaster response.

Please join us for a continuation of this discussion at our second session on June 4th.

Global Disability and Disaster Town Hall Meetings

WID has hosted several webinars where people with disabilities and disability-led organizations from around the world have come to share their experiences and needs as we navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

To learn more about the Global Disability and Disaster Town Hall meetings, including video recordings,  transcripts, and polling results from previous sessions, visit the Global Disability and Disaster Town Hall page on WID’s website via the linked images below:

Text: Global Disability + Disaster Town Hall Meetings. Collage of ears, speech bubbles, hands signing, and a hand using a communication board.

Next GADRA Disability + Disaster Town Hall Meeting: November 19

Event graphic with text and photo. Text repeated in body of the post. Photo: 2 Black and disabled people strolling down a sidewalk side by side. On the left, a non-binary person walks with a cane in one hand and a tangle stim toy in the other. In the middle, a woman rolls along in her pink power wheelchair. Photo by Disabled and Here.
Thursday, November 19, 2020
12 to 1 pm EST / 5 to 6 pm UTC
International Sign + captions in English provided
Link to register to attend the Young Leader PanelThis “Call-To-Action” panel, moderated by Priya Penner of The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies and GADRA, brings together four dynamic young leaders with disabilities from around the world:

  • Minerva Green, Sophomore, Student Government Association, The University of The Bahamas, The Bahamas
  • Borbála Ivicsics, International Communications Manager, FREEKey, Hungary
  • Faith Njahîra, Independent Consultant and Co-Founder, Muscular Dystrophy Society Kenya
  • Sabrina Epstein, Student Researcher and Communications Intern, The John Hopkins Disability Health Research Center, Johns Hopkins University, United States

The panelists will showcase their innovative work and how it intersects with the global pandemic, emergency management, and disaster risk reduction, response, and rebuilding. They will describe how we can better support young leaders and provide insights for future inclusive planning and response, including distribution of resources to disability-led organizations – the foundation of GADRA.

To open this event, we are delighted to announce Jen Msumba, an award-winning disabled musician, filmmaker, singer and songwriter who will debut a new song to open this GADRA event.

We are pleased to be joined by representatives of GADRA Founders’ Circle – Wells Fargo, Kessler Foundation, and United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD). These organizations support inclusion of youth and young adults with disabilities in our common work.

We encourage you to register, and hope you will help us spread the word by sharing this message or a social media post about this exciting event.  We seek youth, young adults, and the organizations that support them to attend for all of us to learn together from our panelists.


Additional Emergency Preparedness, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Resilience Projects

Paralysis & Disaster Readiness Educational Resources

WID received a grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to create disability-specific disaster readiness educational materials. Visit our Paralysis, Disability and Disaster Readiness page to find videos, pamphlets, policy papers, and more!

For more educational resources, please visit our Resources for People with Disabilities in Emergencies and Disasters page

American Red Cross

Together with the American Red Cross (ARC), WID launchedAmerican Red Cross Logo an innovative national training, awareness, and action program to help ARC staff and volunteers better serve people with disabilities during disasters.

WID’s Deputy Director, Thomas Foley, a member of the American Red Cross
National Diversity Advisory Council, works to improve emergency preparedness and disaster response by ARC staff and volunteers for people with
disabilities; facilitates collaboration between the ARC and local
community-based disability organizations; and increases understanding of the needs of people with disabilities in disaster situations.

FAST Trainings

WID’s Deputy Director, Thomas Foley also works with the California Department of Social Services as a trainer on their Functional Assessment Service Team (FAST) program to better support people with access and functional needs during a mass care and shelter incident.

Return to the Disability Inclusive Disaster & Climate Resilience page:

Banner text: Emergencies, Disasters, and Climate Resilience. Icon of WID globe with thermometer and thunder cloud. Background photo of satellite view of a hurricane, with emerald green tint.


For more information, contact Thomas Foley, WID’s Managing Director, at tom@wid.org.

If you are having technical issues or accessibility issues on this site, email wid@wid.org.

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