The Forgotten : How The Disabled Are Left Out Of Disaster Preparedness

1945 Words8 Pages
Christopher Bordelon
The Forgotten: How the Disabled are Left out of Disaster Preparedness

Introduction to Disaster
The catastrophes of Hurricane Katrina and the Indonesia Tsunami are prime examples of events that have focused our attention on the increased necessity for the analysis of risk, disaster preparedness, and hazard mitigation. These catastrophes, occurring inside the space of one year, are exceptional in not only their level of destruction but also in their level of media attention. Supplementary disasters, such as the Kobe earthquake in 1995, can exceed the death toll of a whole year in a solitary quick event. Cities like Tokyo are at an increased risk for different types of destructive events ranging
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Interestingly enough, the United States disability statistics exceed 15% of the population. With time, it may be expected that the WHO’s estimate of the worldwide disabled population will grow with situational awareness and better identification of disabilities. In a detailed analysis of 9/11 survivors, a list of people with vulnerabilities included: acute illness, trauma or recent major surgery, obesity, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy, and respiratory problems (NIST, 2005). Current events have illustrated instances in which people who are disabled fall victim to disaster. Whether these people are stranded in a high-rise construction due to a terrorist attack or fire, crushed in a collapsed building from a tsunami, swept away in flood, dying from normally treatable chronic illnesses in shelters or drowned in a hurricane fueled storm surge, people with disabilities face trials in physical mobility, mental anguish, and receipt of critical, lifesaving care. When 9/11 occurred, rescue and safety personnel risked their lives to save people with disabilities. (NIST, 2005) People who stayed at the side of the disabled workers to await rescue were broadcast across numerous news network for years. (Zelmanowitz 2002). In two cases during 9/11, guide dogs assisted victims, with one descending 71 floors of the World Trade Center (Hu,

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