While disabled and vulnerable people are more vulnerable during environmental and climate disasters, only one disability-led organization is working on inclusive emergency management on a nationwide scale - Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies. After Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in 2017, it sent a team of disabled first responders, having organized the Disability and Disaster Hotline to assist with the response in Texas and Louisiana weeks earlier. PIDS continues to organize ground response teams that coordinate with local organizations to provide disaster relief in what it calls “DisabLED Response.” In 2023, it supported on-the-ground disabled responders to the wildfires in Maui and Hurricane Idalia in Florida, and got a $250,000 grant from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to support Ukraine’s disability community during the Russian invasion. Proposed US legislation would establish a National Commission on Disability Rights and Disasters and help lead a national conversation on the topic.

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