Legislative History of REAADI/DRMA
115th Congress (2017-18):
The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies began collaborating with Senator Casey (D-PA) in 2018 following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and CA wildfires, in response to the disproportionate impact on people with disabilities and older adults throughout disasters. We engaged disability leaders, centers for independent living, disaster survivors with disabilities, and experts in inclusive emergency management throughout 2018 to develop what became the Readying Elders and Americans with Disabilities Inclusively for Disasters Act (READI) S.3679 which was introduced in the 115th Congress, on November 29, 2018, by Senator Bob Casey (PA) and co-sponsored by Senators Tammy Duckworth (IL), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Chris Van Hollen (MD), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Patty Murray (WA) and Maggie Hassan (NH).
95 organizations supported READI at introduction in 115th Congress.
116th Congress (2019-20):
In the 116th Congress, the READI was updated and it was reintroduced on June 11, 2018 as REAADI the Real Emergency Access for Aging and Disability Inclusion for Disasters Act (S. 1755 /H.R. 3208) with further collaboration with The Partnership by Senator Casey and Congressman Langevin. REAADI by itself could not improve the systems sufficiently for people having to relocate from their areas, so collaboratively with Senator Casey and then Congresswoman Shalala who introduced The Disaster Relief Medicaid Act (DRMA) (S. 1754 /H.R. 3215) concurrently. 132 organizations supported REAADI and 124 organizations supported DRMA at introduction in 116th Congress.
117th Congress (2021-22):
During the winter months of 2021, The Partnership was summoned once more and brought together stakeholders to develop further input on REAADI and DRMA for Senator Casey, Congressman Langevin (D-RI) and Congressman Panetta (D-CA) on these two historic pieces of disability and disaster legislation that will dismantle barriers faced by disaster-impacted people with disabilities, older adults, people with access and functional needs, and other Medicaid-eligible people impacted by disasters; improve outcomes; and increase disaster resources for disability organizations, emergency managers and local communities.
READI/REAADI and DRMA were authored by Senator Casey, Congressman Langevin, originally, then Congresswoman Shalala and now in 2021 Congressman Panetta with the active involvement of The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, the nation’s only disability-led organization with a specific focus on the rights and needs of people with disabilities and people with access and functional needs before, during, and after disasters. The Partnership’s members and many allies across the country worked together to identify the areas in which gaps in meeting the needs of disaster-impacted people must be filled through legislation.
On Thursday, August 5th, 2021 Senator Casey, along with 6 other Senators, introduced REAADI (S. 2658) and DRMA (S. 2646) in the Senate!
On Friday, August 6th, 2021 Representative Langevin, along with 7 other Representatives, introduced REAADI (H.R. 4938) in the House, while Representative Panetta, along with 2 other Representatives introduced DRMA (H.R. 4937) in the House!