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Preparedness for Persons with Mobility Impairments. By Catherine Rooney, Michael H. Fox, Glen W. White, and Jennifer Rowland Considerations in Emergency Preparedness: A Two Track Conference Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University

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Preparedness for Persons with Mobility Impairments

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Preparedness for persons with mobility impairments

Preparedness for Persons with Mobility Impairments

By Catherine Rooney, Michael H. Fox,

Glen W. White, and Jennifer Rowland

Considerations in Emergency

Preparedness: A Two Track Conference

Mailman School of Public Health

Columbia University

Washington, D.C.

December 13-15, 2005


Preparedness for persons

Intro: “I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and use a wheelchair.  We had a bomb threat at work… Everyone evacuated, but I was still left on the 3rd floor by the stairwell for the firefighters to come get me. But no one came. Finally, I just struggled and I used pure fear to get myself down the stairs…” (From: Nobody Left Behind On-line Consumer Survey, 2004).

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Preparedness for persons

Disaster Preparedness for Persons with Mobility Impairments

October, 2002 - September 2005

www.nobodyleftbehind2.org


Cdc grant awarded to ku rtc il ts 08040 principle investigators dr glen white and dr michael fox

CDC grant awarded to KU, RTC/IL, TS# 08040, Principle Investigators: Dr. Glen White and Dr. Michael Fox.

Objectives: To determine if emergency

preparedness and response systems

  • Meet the needs of persons with mobility impairments;

  • Use surveillance systems to identify persons with mobility impairments;

  • Have elements of emerging best practices.

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Methods

Methods

  • Identify Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared disasters between 1998 – 2003.

  • Select a random sample of 30 counties or equivalent units (boroughs, parishes, cities) across each of the 10 federal regions.

  • Interview the county emergency managers.

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Methods cont

Methods (Cont.)

  • Evaluate disaster plans and any programs for persons with mobility impairments.

  • Identify possible best practices.

  • Administer on-line consumer survey.

  • Consult with project advisors to recommend changes.

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Nature of the problem

Nature of the Problem

Lack of empirical data on the safe, efficient evacuation of people with disabilities, including mobility impairments.

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Research on disasters and persons with mobility impairments

Research on Disasters and Persons with Mobility Impairments

  • Few empirical research studies were found.

  • Two studies identified correlation between disabilities and risk of death from earthquakes (Chou, Y., Huang, N., & Lee, C., 2004; Osaki, Y. & Minowa, M., 2001).


New findings from katrina

New Findings from Katrina

Survey of evacuees in Houston

shelters found:

  • 61% did not evacuate before the storm.

  • 38% were either physically unable to leave or caring for someone who was physically unable to leave (Kaiser, Harvard, Washington Post).


Nature of the problem1

Nature of the Problem

Current evacuation systems are designed for non-disabled persons where walking or running is required (survival of the fittest mindset).

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Nature of the problem2

Nature of the Problem

Restoration of accessible and other post-disaster living situations for persons with mobility impairments are often not addressed.

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Focus areas of the research

Focus Areas of the Research

Emergency Managers Training

Surveillance Systems

Local Emergency Management Plan

Guidelines

Inclusion of Persons with Mobility

Impairments

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Findings on emergency managers training

Findings on Emergency Managers Training

63% of the emergency managers had not taken the FEMA, G197, or similar course on “special needs populations.”

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Elements of best practices in emergency managers training

Elements of Best Practices in Emergency Managers’ Training

  • Local emergency management plan specifies that training and exercises involve persons with disabilities.

  • Drills include evacuating persons with mobility impairments from different situations.

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Findings on surveillance systems

Findings on Surveillance Systems

Among the emergency managers, 57% do not know how many people with mobility impairments live within their jurisdiction.

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Surveillance findings cont

Surveillance Findings (Cont.)

Among those who had numbers on persons with mobility impairments:

17%use database

systems.

17% use an estimate.

10% use census data.

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Elements of best practices with surveillance

Elements of Best Practices with Surveillance

  • Planning for Special ‘Medical’ Needs Shelter (shelter for medical and electricity/equipment needs)

  • Plan covers identifying persons/needs, creating database, shelter design and location, consumer education. (Lamar University, Department of Nursing, Pam Moss, RN., Beaumont Emergency Management, Sgt. Robert Smith).

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Preparedness for persons

Response to Katrina

“Taking a lesson from New Orleans, Kansas Gov. Sebelius ordered state emergency planners to identify residents of Kansas’ major cities who would be unable to evacuate … whether due to a physical disability or lack of transportation.” (From: Lawernce Journal-World, 9-8-05)


Preparedness for persons

  • Consumer Survey

  • Collected on-line personal disaster experiences from persons with mobility limitations.

  • From participants’ recommendations two disaster preparedness posters were created.www.nobodyleftbehind2.org click on “Findings”


Findings on emergency management guidelines

Findings on Emergency Management Guidelines

Only 20% of the emergency managers reported having specific guidelines to assist persons with mobility impairments during disasters.

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Elements of best practices on plan guidelines

Elements of Best Practices on Plan Guidelines

  • CreatedAnnex/Appendix on Persons with Disabilities.

  • Made specific reference to the needs of persons with disabilities in the various sections of the local emergency plan.

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Findings on inclusion of persons with mobility impairments

Findings on Inclusion of Persons with Mobility Impairments

Little to no representation of persons with mobility impairments in planning or revision stages.

No Best Practices Found

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Preparedness for persons

Findings on Resources Needed

To develop guidelines for persons with mobility impairments, emergency managers need:

67% Financial resources.

33% Knowledgeable and trained

personnel.

25% A FEMA, State, or County

mandate.

17% Greater public education

efforts.

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Consumer feedback

Consumer Feedback

  • No evacuation plans in multi-story buildings, leaving people who are unable to walk abandoned at stairwells or at inoperable elevators without assistance.

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Consumer feedback1

Consumer Feedback

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been in existence for more than 15 years, yet disaster-related or local services still can be found to be inaccessible and disaster-related personnel uninformed of the needs and how to assist people with disabilities.

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Consumer feedback2

Consumer Feedback

  • Other frightening and sometimes life-threatening situations occur when infrastructures fail, including electrical power outages and non-accessible transportation.

Nobody Left Behind Findings


Questions after katrina

Questions After Katrina

  • Are there differences in disaster preparedness for persons who are disabled, seniors, or the seriously ill, and within classes, races and among states?

  • 4 years after 9/11, when will local emergency management infrastructures be strengthened?


The next disaster avian pandemic influenza

The Next Disaster: Avian & Pandemic Influenza

Are You Prepared? Have You Prepared Your community, including Persons with Disabilities?


Preparedness for persons

For more Information:

www.nobodyleftbehind2.org

Nobody Left Behind Findings


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