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For Immediate Release: August 20, 2014


Dawn Brantley   

Regional Inclusive Emergency Management Planner   

Hampton Roads Planning District Commission

Tel: (757) 420-8300

Fax: (757) 523-4881 




Regional Emergency Managers and HRPDC Transition to Next Level of Inclusive Planning


Chesapeake, VA - The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and the region's emergency managers are committed to protecting the lives of our most vulnerable citizens during disasters, and this important responsibility demands the most effective programs and tools currently available.


We are happy to announce some of the efforts and programs we are currently working on to enhance our region-wide ability to support those with disabilities after a disaster. While not a complete list of the programs and tools we are developing and implementing, these efforts represent the broader, more effective approach the region's emergency managers are taking to ensure inclusion of the whole community in emergency planning and disaster response:


  • Gathering more robust data on disability, limited English proficiency, and transportation dependence in each locality to enhance planning.
  • Creating a network of service providers that will supply important information to their clients before and after a disaster event.
  • Evaluating new and evolving national policies, guidance and best practices related to meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities.
  • Partnering with organizations like the Eastern Virginia Healthcare Coalition and the Virginia Medically Vulnerable Populations Working Group to create a more resilient healthcare community capable of maintaining a high level of service during an emergency or disaster.
  • Providing training to shelter staff on meeting various needs within a disaster shelter.
  • Developing a regional strategy for generating emergency and preparedness information that is fully accessible to individuals with hearing or vision loss and limited English proficiency.


These more effective approaches will replace some of our current planning efforts. Set to expire is the ReadyHR Registry, formerly known as the Special Needs Registry or the Medical Needs Registry. For several years the Registry has been a small part of the regional strategy to address the needs of individuals with disabilities. It has served its purpose; however, newer technology and better data collection tools can provide larger amounts of current and accurate data.


Fortunately, the ReadyHR Registry was only a planning tool and did not guarantee any services would be provided by any city or county. The only change the region's citizens with disabilities will see is that they no longer receive a phone call or letter annually to update information.


Current Registry participants do not need to do anything to withdraw or update the registry. The protection of private information is important and all information will be destroyed according to HIPAA standards. Some cities or counties may choose to keep the Registry data for their residents for a locally-operated registry. Cities or counties that retain such information locally will assume responsibility for protecting it. Registrants can contact their locality's emergency management office for more information.


If you have questions regarding the Ready HR Registry program, please contact Dawn Brantley, Regional Inclusive Emergency Planner, at 757-420-8300 or . 


About the HRPDC:  

The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC), one of 21 Planning District Commissions in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a regional organization representing over 1.6 million people in the 17 localities of Hampton Roads, Virginia, including the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, the Town of Smithfield and the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Southampton, Surry, and York. Planning District Commissions are voluntary associations and were created in 1969 pursuant to the Virginia Area Development Act and a regionally executed Charter Agreement. The HRPDC was formed in 1990 by the merger of the Southeastern Virginia Planning District Commission and the Peninsula Planning District Commission.