H.R.5498 - Equitable Access to Disaster Relief and Preparedness Services Act109th Congress (2005-2006)
Summary: H.R.5498 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)
Introduced in House (05/25/2006)
Equitable Access to Disaster Relief and Preparedness Services Act - Amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to require regulations issued for the guidance of personnel providing federal assistance at major disaster sites to include provisions ensuring that relief activities be accomplished without discrimination based on English proficiency.
Directs the President to: (1) ensure that all federal entities that provide assistance maintain the capability to administer competent interpreter and translation services; (2) communicate with state and local governments to identify individuals with limited English proficiency and include them in disaster preparedness planning; (3) have available for activation a sufficient cadre of emergency assistance employees; (4) develop and maintain an informational clearinghouse of model language assistance programs and best practices; and (5) report to Congress on the treatment of individuals with limited English proficiency during Hurricane Katrina and on the feasibility of operating a toll-free number by which such individuals can obtain information in their primary language regarding federally funded disaster services and benefits.
Includes within the technical assistance the President is required to provide to states assistance to individuals with and without English proficiency following disasters.
Requires the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to: (1) conduct an emergency preparedness demonstration program to study the needs of individuals and households with limited English proficiency for use in the design and development of community and family preparedness programs; and (2) develop initiatives to improve disaster awareness and readiness in communities that have individuals with limited English proficiency.