FODAC to Aid in Houston Recovery Efforts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press contact: Lizbeth Dison
Friends of Disabled Adults and Children to Aid in Houston Recovery Efforts
Atlanta-based non-profit to assist in distribution of medical equipment for disabled victims of disaster
Stone Mountain GA – (13 September 2017) – Representatives from Atlanta-based Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC), which provides home health care equipment and mobility aids to people with disabilities, will be travelling this week to storm-ravaged Houston to help set up and manage national collection and local distribution of durable medical equipment (DME) to those affected by the recent disaster. President and CEO Chris Brand and Home Modification Coordinator Ruth Rust will be the first FODAC staff members on the ground in Houston with plans for other staff members to follow.
In the wake of Harvey, Houston is still struggling to recover from the devastating floods. 87 shelters are still open, 15,000 students are displaced without a school and many people have died without access to oxygen, CPAPs and other lifesaving durable medical equipment (DME). Over 813,000 households have requested assistance, many with special needs residents.
“Many of those with mobility impairments have lost everything because of Harvey, and many are in shelters without the basic equipment necessary to function,” stated Brand. “DME vendors have been very generous with donations of vital equipment such as wheelchairs, hospital beds and shower benches. The challenge is to get the equipment into the hands of those that need it.”
Because of its vast experience in working large disasters, FODAC was requested to help manage the logistics of a distribution center for local DME needs in Houston. Over the past thirty years, FODAC has become the leading nonprofit assisting with needs for DME both domestically and internationally, offering the expertise to coordinate DME resources for disasters in 17 states and several countries. FODAC has provided assistance after the earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal, hurricanes including Katrina, Sandy, Ike and Isaac and the 2009 floods that devastated north Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. After sending six containers of equipment to Katrina victims, FODAC began working with national groups including American Red Cross, the Pass it on Center and the FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination to develop methods to promote better training and resources for people with functional limitations moving through shelters and back into the community. In 2013, Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) appointed FODAC to serve as the statewide distributor of DME and assistive technology in the event of a large population-affecting emergency situation. In this role, FODAC will warehouse the DME and other equipment, then, working with GEMA and the American Red Cross (ARC) of Georgia, will coordinate the delivery and distribution to emergency shelters around the state.
“We have determined that we need to assist the agencies willing to help the DME efforts to collaborate in a safe, effective and appropriate way, matching equipment to people with disabilities and injuries,” said Brand. “Many of the items we will distribute are valued at hundreds and thousands of dollars, but because we will be distributing this equipment at no cost to the recipients, victims can leverage their FEMA funds for other critical housing and transportation needs.”
An anonymous $20,000 grant to FODAC provided the basis for the organization’s Houston efforts. These funds will cover travel costs for a FODAC staff person to be on the ground continuously for two months, rotating every two weeks. FODAC can send experts in manual and power wheelchair repair, oxygen and CPAP evaluation, with warehouse experience to triage, document and help the distribution process to the service agencies in the area. The funds will also cover shipping for initial needs of DME along with a wheelchair cleaning machine valued at $10,000, which can ensure local donations of DME can be sanitized and re-issued safely.
Brand realizes that other disasters may also require FODAC’s support, including hurricane Irma which recently ravaged the Caribbean, Florida and the southeast, as well as the recent 8.1 earthquake which shook Mexico earlier in September. But he is confident FODAC will be able to lend a hand where needed. “We have a strong commitment to help those with mobility impairments, especially in the face of disaster,” he stated. “We have a network of non-profits to help coordinate logistics, and a community of generous donors who value the work we do. We will be there to help.”
Those wishing to contribute to FODAC’s disaster relief efforts can donate on the organization’s website, fodac.org/donate.
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Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) continues to help people with injuries and disabilities of all ages regain their mobility, independence and quality of life. The non-profit organization provides more than $10 million annually in refurbished durable medical equipment (DME) and home modifications in Georgia and across the United States, all at little or no cost to the recipients. A pioneer in re-use, FODAC keeps 350 tons of materials out of landfills each year by refurbishing and reissuing over 700 DME items every month, and is recognized nationally for best practices. In 2014, FODAC was named to Charities Under 5% Overhead, an organization of charities that have operating overhead of five percent or less.
In 2013, Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) appointed FODAC to serve as the statewide distributor of DME and assistive technology in the event of a large population-affecting emergency situation. In this role, FODAC will warehouse the DME and other equipment, then, working with GEMA and the American Red Cross (ARC) of Georgia, will coordinate the delivery and distribution to emergency shelters around the state.
In 2016, Healthcare Quality Association on Accreditation (HQAA) fully accredited FODAC as a durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) provider, thus confirming the organization’s compliance with quality standards established in the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act.
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