Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Inclusive planning helps improve disaster response during Louisiana floods

September is National Disaster Preparedness Month. RantWoman sometimes observes such occasions by attempting a daily posting schedule. That has not happened this year, but here is a cool article about the value of "Nothing about us without us," including people with disabilities in #preparedness efforts.

Example: Role of a state wide Emergency Management Disability Advisory Groups in Response:
Improved Disaster Response for People with Disabilities during Louisiana Floods
The Louisiana Emergency Management Disability and Aging Coalition (EMDAC) has worked tirelessly during the August 2016 flood rescue and recovery in Louisiana for all people affected, particularly for people with disabilities and those who are aging. The National Disability Integration Coordinator for the American Red Cross, Shari Myers, has taken notice that EMDAC's efforts have improved disaster response for people with disabilities in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina. She said, "I'm encouraged by the fact that I now have friends and colleagues with disabilities who are working in inclusive emergency management and disaster planning." She notes that there is still work to be done. Even though more disaster shelters had accessible entrances, the portable commode trailers lacked significant accessibility features.

Full Story: Aaron Broverman, Disaster Response during Louisiana Flood Significantly Improved, New Mobility, Sept. 15, 2016, available at

www.NewMobility.com looks like agreat resource for people who use wheelchairs.

Thanks to
Danielle Bailey
FEMA Region 10
Disability Integration Specialist
425-487-4780 (desk)
425-381-3400 (cell)

RantWoman further editorial comments:

--It's reassuring to think that, even if #climatechange  means more storms and more severe storms, people with #disabilities are also contributing to better #disaster response.

--It matters a lot for people to have practice figuring out different communications issues when everyone is warm and dry and the lights are on so when #disaster hits, people have some reserves and skills to deal with the additional stress of the disaster.

--Recognizing this also means appreciating the surprising value of traits that might be, um, speaking candidly, REALLY annoying. For example, the person who needs to tell everyone the same thing dozens of times might be just the person to repeat a simple informational message.

--RantWoman has enough family members and neighbors who use wheelchairs to know that, even in the best circumstances, ADA minimum standards do not always add up to #accessibility in places like women's restrooms. RantWoman thanks a neighbor know on this blog as Mr. Accessible Restrooms for frequent reminders in connection with various meetings in various places that men's rooms are no better. However when this neighbor needs to use the restroom, he REALLY needs to use the restroom, a point RantWoman would ALWAYS take into account when thinking about #accessibility and shelters.

No comments:

Post a Comment