Federal emergency responders are largely unprepared to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities in a natural disaster, a Congressional panel heard Tuesday.

Plans do exist to assist people with disabilities in evacuating and finding shelter during an emergency. But putting the procedures into action would be difficult, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials acknowledged at a subcommittee meeting of the House Homeland Security Committee. That’s because the agency’s disability office has only one full-time staffer and a budget of just $150,000.

Members of the committee encouraged the creation of a registry for people with special needs to alert emergency responders in advance with details of the assistance they would require in case of an emergency. However, FEMA officials said they don’t have the resources to implement such a registry.

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In turn, lawmakers said more funding should be allocated toward ensuring the safety of people with disabilities in disasters, reports Hearst Newspapers. To read more click here.

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