Tuesday, January 13, 2009

State of Emergency Declared for Inauguration Day

BECAUSE... The deaf population is high in the DC/Metro area.

BECAUSE... I’m a local girl.

BECAUSE... the world’s only liberal arts university for the deaf is in DC.

BECAUSE... Gallaudet University has announced that due to transportation problems related to the Presidential Inauguration, it is letting students check in as early as Wednesday the 14th.

BECAUSE... All members of the DC community should be conscious whenever a state of emergency is declared, even if it's for funding reasons and massive crowds.

BECAUSE... of all these reasons, I found this press statement important enough to share with you. President Bush has declared a state of emergency for the Inauguration Day. Please READ the following carefully and pass it on to all local DC deaf residents.

The President today declared an emergency exists in the District of Columbia and ordered federal aid to supplement the District's response efforts in support of the 56th Presidential Inauguration. The declaration makes available funding and support for the purposes of ensuring the District of Columbia and the federal government are optimally prepared and postured to respond to the 56th Presidential Inauguration, beginning on January 17 through January 21.
The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to provide appropriate assistance for certain emergency protective measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act. FEMA will also be authorized and prepared to coordinate any necessary response efforts, should an emergency arise. Specifically, assistance is available to the District for emergency protective measures that are undertaken to save lives and protect public health and safety. Direct Federal assistance, at 100 percent federal funding will be provided during the period of January 17-21, 2009, and reimbursement of emergency protective measures (Category B), under the Public Assistance program, at 100 percent federal funding for work performed on January 20, 2009. FEMA will reimburse for eligible emergency protective measures performed on January 20, 2009, only if the District has expended on the Presidential Inauguration during the period of January 17-21, 2009, the $15 million appropriated to it for "Emergency Planning and Security Costs" by the Continuing Appropriations Resolution 2009, P.L. 110-329.
FEMA Administrator David Paulison named Donald L. Keldsen the federal coordinating officer for federal coordination operations in the District of Columbia.
The Presidential Inauguration has been designated as a National Security Special Event (NSSE) by the Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's role is to be prepared to respond to a natural disaster, acts of terrorism and other man-made disasters.


Carol Finkle said...

Just connected to your 'Perspective"; have been advocating for sign language interpreters to be IN FULL VIEW for televised coverage of Pres.Elect Obama's train 'whistle' stops starting this Saturday; there will be thousands of people present (in person) and millions glued to their televisions and computers for every minute of one of the MOST historic events in history; an event that WE ALSO have the honor (and 'right'?) to be full participants in via spoken and written English AND American Sign Language simultaneously. As we all know it is ONLY the presence of ASL that can demonstrate respect for Deaf citizens' right to full access, inclusion and participation equal to the legal rights of Hearing Americans; the right to be informed as all first class citizens should be and must be. I totally believe that IF ANYONE can get this message to the new President and First Lady that they will "GET IT" and they will "DO IT". Bottom line: 'providing' sign interpreters and place them on the edge of stages during events of important to ALL American citizens is not enough; doing so IS necessary? Yes! - but sufficent? NO! ALSO... WILL THERE EVEN BE INTERPRETERS AT THE 'WHISTLE' STOPS COMING THROUGH PHILADELPHIA? DELAWARE? ETC.? ON THE UPCOMING HISTORIC TRAIN RIDE BRINGING THE NEW PRESIDENT TO WASHINGTON? These are the questions of the day for me and I hope for all Deaf Americans and social-justice activists around the nation. Any and all suggestions welcome! cfinkle@creativeaccess.org

Leah Katz-Hernandez said...

I agree completely! but I am not on the official inaugural committee. I hope to be able to work as a volunteer on the day, though.

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