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Improving Disaster Planning and Response for Persons with Mobility Limitations – Early Findings. Michael H. Fox, Sc.D., Glen W. White, Ph.D., Jennifer Rowland, M.S.,P.T., Monika Suchowierska, Ph.D., Catherine Rooney, M.A.
Michael H. Fox, Sc.D., Glen W. White, Ph.D., Jennifer Rowland, M.S.,P.T., Monika Suchowierska, Ph.D., Catherine Rooney, M.A.
Research and Training Center on Full Participation in Independent Living at the University of Kansas
American Public Health Association
November 18, 2003
San Francisco, California
According to a November 2001 Harris Poll commissioned by the National Organization on Disability:
All percentages in this poll were higher for people with disabilities than their non-disabled counterparts.
After the 1993 WTC bombing, the local emergency management office and the Associated Blind worked with NYFD to develop a comprehensive evacuation plan and drill for their staff, most who have either low or no vision
On September 11, the entire staff calmly and safely evacuated their building’s 9th floor, a success they attribute directly to the customized planning and drills
Source: N.O.D. Guide on the Special Needs of People with Disabilities.
Within this population, Census 2000 found:
FEMA: Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities. October, 1998
Typically, disaster preparedness and emergency response systems are designed for non-disabled persons, for which escape or rescue involves walking or running. These are not appropriate for assisting persons with mobility impairments.
In addition, many plans do not appear to specifically address the transition needs back to pre-disaster conditions that are required for persons with mobility impairments.
Michael Fox, KUMC, Co-P.I.
Headline, Lawrence Journal World, July 24, 2003:
Disaster safety for special-needs populations explored
May tornado raises questions about preparedness
Wednesday night, representatives of the Research & Training Center on Independent Living at KU met with about 20 (26, note) public safety and community service leaders to solicit and discuss safety measures.
Residents from the neighborhoods struck by the May tornado also were invited to the meeting at Raintree Montessori School, 4601 Clinton Parkway, but none showed up
"Regardless of whether you have a disability or not, you have to have a plan of what to do," said Paula Phillips, Douglas County Emergency Management director. "As a government, we can\'t prepare for you. There are more of you than there are of us."
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