Selected State and Local Laws & Legal Actions
State public health, emergency management, and other public safety agencies are created and empowered under state laws. State legislatures enact laws, and administrative agencies promulgate regulations relevant to emergency preparedness and response and the protection of vulnerable populations. These legal authorities may perform essential functions such as maintaining registries of people who need help during emergencies, setting up special needs shelters, and rewriting laws to allow greater flexibility for refilling prescriptions during emergencies.
Florida State Emergency Management Act
§§ 252.311; 252.355, Fla. Stat.
While many states mandate certain considerations for persons with special needs, most states do not have emergency management statutes or regulations that expressly require jurisdictions to develop plans for protecting vulnerable older adults in all-hazard emergencies. The Florida legislature, however, has enacted such a mandate.
Network for Public Health Law brief of California Disability Case [PDF-322K]
While many states do not have specific legislation requiring state and local plans to include the needs of older adults in emergency response, law suits brought under the Americans with Disability Act can result in better inclusion of older adults who may have one or more disability.