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Rep. Molinaro Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Ensure Individuals With Disabilities Have FEMA Support During Natural Disasters

Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY-19) today introduced the Think DIFFERENTLY About Emergencies Act, a bipartisan bill that ensures Americans with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities and their families have access to resources to safely recover after a major disaster strikes. The bill, which builds off Rep. Molinaro’s nationally recognized ‘Think DIFFERENTLY’ initiative, was introduced with U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV-1).

A study prepared for the United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction found that individuals with disabilities are two to four times more likely to die or be critically injured during disaster situations. With billion-dollar natural disasters on the rise in the United States, Rep. Molinaro’s bill directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to commission a report on the assistance and resources provided to individuals with disabilities and their families that are impacted by major disasters.

Rep. Molinaro said, “We need an emergency response system that is not only prepared for disasters, but also equipped to support the unique needs of individuals with disabilities and their families. The 'Think DIFFERENTLY About Emergencies Act' ensures no one is left behind."

Rep. Titus said, “Today’s disasters are more frequent, cause more damage, and have longer recovery times. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of these events, individuals with disabilities find themselves at an increased risk of institutionalization, injury, and death. I am proud to lead this bipartisan bill which will help identify needed improvements to the emergency management landscape so we can ensure that no one gets left behind in the wake of a major disaster.”