FEMA Wants Better Hurricane Alerts for People With Disabilities


The agency is interested in handicapped-accessible options for mobile and social media during disasters too.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency wants to make its systems for alerting and communicating with the public during natural disasters more easily accessible by people with disabilities, contracting documents show.

A solicitation posted in late August focuses on transmitting FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, or IPAWS, alerts to people with disabilities in hurricane-prone states. It would also include determining how local emergency managers are currently using social media to communicate with people with disabilities.

The contract will include integrating technology into existing emergency alert systems that make them more handicapped accessible. The contractor will also be tasked with figuring out how these alerting systems can be retrofitted for people who are illiterate or who don’t have a strong grasp of English.

The contract also includes developing handicapped-accessible options for mobile phone alerts and for social media communication during hurricanes and other emergencies.