Disaster Legal Aid Trainings: Disaster Services and Accessibility within the American Red Cross

In the fifth installment of the Disaster Resilience Awareness Month series, Equal Justice Works Fellow Stephanie Duke (she/her/hers) at Disability Rights Texas joined the American Red Cross staff members Karen Koski-Miller, program manager of disaster mental health services; Mary Lockyer, program manager of disaster health services; and Shari Myers, disability integration coordinator; on a session about functional and access needs for individuals and families and how the American Red Cross can accommodate. The training, titled, “Disaster Services and Accessibility within the American Red Cross,” was prerecorded and shared on Disability Rights Texas’s Facebook page on March 15.

At the session, Stephanie and the American Red Cross staff members discussed the disaster services provided by the American Red Cross, as well as the organization’s inclusive practices to ensure all individuals impacted by a disaster receive the assistance they need. This includes providing disaster relief services all day, every day, wherever needed, so people can have clean water, safe shelter, and hot meals. Panelists addressed how these services are typically provided and how they are provided amidst concurrent disasters, like a pandemic. For example, when working with individuals with disabilities, the American Red Cross makes sure that individuals have accommodations and supports in place to ensure the continuity of their autonomy and independence, as well as how a continuum of care can be provided in the most difficult of situations.

The panelists also emphasized the importance of understanding services offered by the American Red Cross, knowing how to access theses services, and creating comprehensive disaster recovery plans for you and your family in blue-sky times to be prepared when the next disaster strikes. For more information on the disaster relief and recovery services available from the American Red Cross, visit here.

If your organization is interested in teaming up with Equal Justice Works for Disaster Resilience Awareness Month, please reach out to us at [email protected].

Disaster Resilience Awareness Month is made possible thanks to the generous support of Equal Justice Works host organizations: Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Disability Rights Texas, Lone Star Legal Aid, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc., and YMCA International Services.

The Equal Justice Works Disaster Resilience Program is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the Bigglesworth Family Foundation, and individual contributions.

Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow