The Governor’s Americans with Disabilities Act) ADA Office and the Department of Human Services have partnered with VITEMA, VI Association of Independent Living, Disability Rights Center of the VI, VI University Center of Excellence for Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD), and many other government, disability and aging partners in the community to host a territory-wide “Disaster Preparedness in a COVID-19 Environment Expo” for adults with disabilities and independent senior citizens.
The first event will be held Tuesday, Sept. 6, on St. Thomas at the UVI Sports & Fitness Center. The St. Croix exposition will be held on Friday, Sept. 16 at the UVI Great Hall. Both events will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Apart from the ADA Office and the Department of Human Services, participating agencies include the Department of Health, VI Association for Independent Living, Disability Rights Center of the VI, VIUCEDD, FEMA, VITEMA, VIPD, Department of Public Works, VI Fire Services, Office of Gun Violence Prevention, American Red Cros, WAPA, VIYA, AARP, viNGN, St. Thomas and St. Croix Rescue, and other divisions.
The event will highlight local health and disaster preparedness efforts by these entities to include critical information you may need in the coming months, registration for free services, COVID-19 testing, education on monkeypox, sandbag distributions, ‘go bags’ and what should be in them, procedures to both secure and store medication and equipment before, during and after disasters, emergency radio demonstrations for people with and without hearing impairments, and much more. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), along with other health and disaster preparedness resources, will be distributed at each station and light refreshments and lunch will be provided.
“The fact is that most seniors and persons with disabilities have a hard time getting supplies after any major storm.
“If they don’t make preparations, most times they are put in a position to fend for themselves. This expo is crucial to providing knowledge and resources to this audience. Providing them with an emergency plan to get food, water medication, banking, and an escape plan can save their lives. Keeping them informed empowers them to act,” said ADA Coordinator Julien Henley Sr.
Resource swag bags, meals, and free transportation to and from the event site for those in need will be guaranteed for the first 100 members of the vulnerable community who register for the event. Persons in need of special accommodations should indicate so in pre-registration no later than Sept. 9. To secure giveaways, please register at vi.gov/viada.
For more information on this event, call 540-377-1445 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.