California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC), et al. v. City of Oakland, et al.Oakland Adopts Emergency Plan To Include People With Disabilities In Disaster Planning
On January 21, 2010, in a settlement announced by DRA and the City of Oakland, Oakland agreed to adopt an emergency plan which includes the needs of people with all types of disabilities during emergency disasters.
Oakland is particularly vulnerable to emergency disasters. Since 1983, it has experienced eight Presidential-declared disasters, including the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, 1991 Oakland Hills Firestorm, the 1997 El Nino winter storms, and the 1998 La Nina winter storms.
Aware of the severity and urgency of this problem, DRA represented the plaintiffs in this lawsuit to address the lack of disaster planning in Oakland for people with disabilities. The plaintiffs were: The California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC), Californians for Disability Rights, Inc. (CDR) and Marian Gray (an Oakland taxpayer).
After the lawsuit was filed in 2007, Oakland immediately began to work cooperatively with DRA to develop a comprehensive emergency plan. The plan is called the Functional Needs Annex.
Highlights of the Functional Needs Annex include:
- Oakland has identified 20 accessible emergency shelters that will accommodate people with mobility disabilities and is working with other entities to identify additional accessible shelter locations.
- Each emergency shelter will have a designated Shelter Functional Needs Coordinator responsible for assisting persons with disabilities.
- The City’s emergency notification system, which contacts people to alert them of an emergency situation in their area, will interface with various electronic and wireless devices used by people with hearing, mobility and vision disabilities in addition to standard telephones.
- A Geographic Information System (GIS) has been created to assist City first responders with identifying the location of persons who may require accessible transportation services.