Insuring the safety of people with disabilities is at the top of the list for a new coalition of like-minded organizations recently brought together with the help of a substantial grant from Entergy.
On November 19, representatives from the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services, American Red Cross of Westchester and Entergy met at the Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD) campus for a presentation by WIHD Program Coordinator Marilyn Vitale on her first draft of the organization’s Personal Emergency Plan Training Program for adults and children with disabilities.
Presenting a $15,000 check to WIHD, Entergy Vice President of Governmental Affairs Ken Theobalds noted, “We take emergency planning and preparedness quite seriously, and with this pilot program, we are building a public-private partnership model that addresses the needs of an underserved segment of the region’s population. I applaud WIHD for pulling this together.”
According to Vitale, “My Safety, My Responsibility, My Plan is primarily a multi-session training program for training adults with intellectual disabilities to understand, and be prepared, for emergencies.” She added, “At the end of the program, each participant will have a personal emergency plan that is suited to his (or her) individual needs.”
This effort nicely dovetails a new program from Westchester County called the Special Needs Registry. The County is putting together a database of residents who may require additional assistance, transportation or a place to stay if told to evacuate in the event of an emergency or disaster. For more information, you can go to http://www.westchestergov.com/news_needsregistry.htm.