Emergency management field not prepared to help disabled in disaster, report finds

Emergency Management Alert, August 18, 2009

A recent report from the National Council on Disability has found that many emergency managers are unprepared aid people with disabilities during disasters. The report, Effective Emergency Management: Making Improvements for Communities and People with Disabilities, analyzed the challenges people with disabilities faced in disaster situations, including events such as the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the wildfires in Southern California.

The report also concluded that most disaster planning occurs without the consultation of people with disabilities or disability organizations, despite mandates to do so. The report says more research is needed to appropriately respond and communicate to this population, and that recovery can be difficult after people with disabilities suffer disruption to caregiver networks and healthcare coverage.

Lastly, the report also calls for a greater collaboration between emergency managers and voluntary organizations.

To read the full report, click here.

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