DEMAC of Oregon​

 In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DEMAC has been called into action.

Formed in January 2020, the DEMAC is a state-wide cross-disability council that believes equity in emergency management is possible and that people have a right to be included and treated with dignity and respect.

The DEMAC was created to apply the experiences and knowledge of people with disabilities, as subject matter experts, to guide statewide emergency management in the development and implementation of inclusive practices through all planning, response, and recovery activities.

The DEMAC is jointly funded by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

Learn more about DEMAC roles and responsibilities: DEMAC Charter

June 2018: A small group of emergency managers and representatives from disability organizations met to discuss how to develop a disability advisory council in Oregon, to work alongside emergency management.

June 2018-December 2018:A planning group was developed to plan and execute an Inclusive Emergency Planning (IEP) Workshop in June 2019. This planning group was comprised of additional disability service providers, many of whom were people with disabilities.

January 2019: Nyla McCarthy was hired to facilitate focus groups and help organize the IEP Workshop (January 2019 – June 2019).

March 2019: Focus groups were conducted in five locations around the state. This resulted in the Beyond Checking Boxes Report, which informed the IEP Workshop agenda.

June 18, 2019: The IEP Workshop was held in Salem, Oregon. Attendees included emergency managers, disability service providers, and people with disabilities. A final IEP Workshop Report​ was published in June 2019.

July 2019 – December 2019: A smaller planning group helped develop a draft structure for the DEMAC, created from IEP Workshop Report and participant comments. This group:

  • Developed a Request for Proposal
  • Contracted with HRSI to fulfill a facilitator role to help develop the DEMAC.
  • Developed a DEMAC member application process.
  • Selected DEMAC primary and alternate members.
  • Held orientation calls with Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) and DEMAC primary and alternate members.

January 2020: The DEMAC was officially established.


Current DEMAC Members

Comprised of 20-25 members, the DEMAC ensures that primary membership is:

  • At least 2/3 people with disabilities
  • Cross-disability
  • From every geographic region of the state, both urban and rural
  • Representative of the language, cultural, racial and ethnic diversity of the state
  • Includes emerging and established community leaders and advocates, along with emergency managers, state agency staff, and disability service providers.

Primary and alternate DEMAC members meet quarterly. The quarterly meetings are facilitated by HRSI and held around the state.



​​Contact Information

If you are interested in receiving DEMAC updates, email Oregon.MassCare@state.or.us. Please put ‘DEMAC’ in the subject line so we can identify your email.

State Agency Leads:

Shelly Emery (Oregon Department of Human Services)
503-269-5991 (voice and text)
Kristen Darmody (Oregon Health Authority)
971-888-3358 (voice and text)

Erik Rau (Oregon Office of Emergency Management)
503-378-3252 (voice only)

OHA has contracted with Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) to help develop the structure of DEMAC.

Yoshi Kardell

Colleen Kidney