Hurricane Harvey 2017

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Our Role in Disaster Response

Reutilized assistive technology, especially durable medical equipment, plays an important role in providing temporary devices to people with disabilities impacted by disasters that result in the loss of devices or create new needs. The Pass It On Center (PIOC) works with AT Act Programs and their nonprofit affiliates in other states and territories to provide safe, appropriate interim devices until a new, permanent device becomes available. PIOC partners with other organizations that serve individuals with disabilities to respond to disasters by identifying needs and collecting and distributing gently used devices.

We are currently working with the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, a nationwide network of organizations, to respond to the needs of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. We welcome the support of all organizations who would like to participate in our efforts. Contact us at

Pass It On Center Website Resources

  • The Knowledge Base which is a collection of resources, articles, links, and videos that highlight best and successful practices in assistive technology (AT) reuse.
  • The Reuse Locations database is where you can identify and connect with your local assistive technology (AT) reuse program. Simply click on your state or fine-tune your search by types of reuse activity, equipment and even ages served.
  • Want to see assistive technology (AT) reuse an action? Visit the Pass It On Center YouTube channel to see videos on various ways to sanitize, refurbish, store and distribute assistive technology and durable medical equipment.

Portal for AT | DME | Supplies

Portlight and Pass It On Center

The Portlight Disaster Relief Request Portal for AT | DME | Supplies built in collaboration with The National Pass It On Center is designed for Organization to Organization Match. During times of emergencies and larger disasters, many individuals are displaced and often go without their needed assistive technology and durable medical equipment. Much of this equipment is highly customized and fitted to meet the unique needs of the individual. Having a dedicated access point for organizations to request and track donated DME is crucial to the safe and appropriate matching of equipment during the disaster response process. Once DME requests are in the web portal, donated equipment is matched and assigned to those in need. If you are with an Organization that will be needing equipment and/or connected to Organizations that need equipment, we encourage you to use the Disaster Relief Request Portal for AT | DME | Supplies to have your equipment needs matched with the Reuse Network. ‎

Documents and Definitions

  • How to Match Equipment
  • How to Measure Equipment
  • Definition of Loan Equipment

Instructional Videos

Additional Resources

Pass It On Center Equipment Return Labels - This equipment is loaned through The Pass It On Center Network Disaster Response Effort and should not interfere with an individual's ability to receive new equipment if they are eligible. When you have finished using this equipment, please return it to the organization where you received it or to your local reuse program. Please go to [] to find your local reuse program.

UPS In-Kind Shipping Opportunity - National VOAD is pleased to announce that our generous partner, The UPS Foundation, is offering in-kind shipping of full truckloads or multiple pallets to National VOAD Members for their response or recovery operations. To apply for this opportunity, members will need to fill out a form with the requesting organization's information, point of contact, and specifics regarding the shipment. Members will also need to detail what the requested services will support, such as number of people served, sheltered, supported, etc. and over what time period. Please fill out this form and return it to with the subject line indicating '[Member Organization Name] In-Kind Shipping Request [Date].

Augmentative and Alternative communication (AAC) - Children and adults with severe speech/language disabilities often use Augmentative and Alternative communication (AAC). Join this national effort to support individuals/family members/other AAC stakeholders directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey. AAC Relief: Hurricane Harvey

Special Education Displacement Guidance

Dialysis Needs - Individuals needing kidney dialysis should connect with their local ESRD Network.

US Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties - Under Disaster Preparedness (expand the section)

Medicare DME Hurricane Harvey Guidance

Letter from Donald E. Clayback, Executive Director | NCART

CMS has issued formal guidance for DME providers relating to "emergency" DME replacements and that document can be found here. The highlights are:

  • When DMEPOS are lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable due to circumstances relating to a declared emergency, Medicare will pay for the replacement DMEPOS that a Medicare beneficiary owns or purchased.
  • The Secretary has established a blanket waiver under section 1135 of the Social Security Act such that the face-to-face requirement, a new physician's order, and new medical necessity documentation are not required for replacement. Suppliers must still include a narrative description on the claim explaining the reason why the equipment must be replaced and are reminded to maintain documentation indicating that the DMEPOS was lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged or otherwise rendered unusable as a result of the hurricane.
  • CMS has informed AAHomecare that the rental cycle will start over for capped rental and oxygen equipment that are replaced due to the hurricane.
  • If applicable, beneficiaries must use a contract supplier (or an approved sub-contractor) if they need a DMEPOS Competitive Bidding item and are in a Competitive Bidding Area impacted by the hurricane.
  • All Medicare-enrolled DMEPOS suppliers can contact the DME MAC Jurisdiction C Customer Service Center at 1-866-270-4909 for assistance and guidance.

Funding Assistive Technology 101: For Disaster Survivors - When planning for emergencies and disasters, people with disabilities should know the original funding source(s) of the devices and services they depend on for health, safety, and independence. This document briefly reviews the major funding sources for assistive technology (AT) and durable medical equipment (DME). Examples of links to rules and programs are specific to states affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma are provided.

FEMA Assistance and Disaster Relief & Recovery Training - This event is intended to connect Deaf community members and their families impacted by Hurricane Harvey with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Personnel.


RSVP Equipment Drive

RSVP Equipment Drive - Join an event on Saturday, September 9th in Houston, to match donated durable Medical Equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, catheters, and other medical supplies) to people affected by Hurricane Harvey. Details: Saturday, September 9th from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at *ProCare Orthotics, 7100 Grand, Houston Texas 77054. Reservations requested, at 713-799-1000, in order to have a therapist to help match you to the equipment.

AT/DME Disaster Response Daily Calls

If call notes are available, they will be posted below. Calls will continue at this number daily at 4:00PM CT / 2:00PM EDT: 641-715-3580; PIN: 996329#

Daily Calls Summary