In any disaster planned for by emergency management personnel, one in five people encountered will have a disability of some type. The UN conducted a survey of people with disabilities who had survived disasters around the world. Working with the disabled community in the planning process also allows the emergency manager to identify areas of need, particularly in the two most challenging aspects of evacuation: communication and transportation. Deborah Hayes has worked in emergency management and disaster response for more than 10 years for various organizations, including the American Red Cross, FEMA and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Few respondents were aware of any disaster management plans in their communities, and fewer had participated in any planning processes, although half of the respondents expressed a desire to do so.
Census Bureau in 2012, about 56.7 million people, or approximately 19 percent of the population, had a disability in 2010.


This means that in any disaster planned for by emergency management personnel, one in five people encountered will have a disability of some type.
Studies after Hurricane Katrina found that approximately one-third of those who did not leave their homes during the disaster had a disability. One of the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina and other recent disasters is that the special needs of people with disabilities must be integrated into all aspects of emergency management.
This process will help establish a strong working relationship with the community before a disaster occurs. Community organizations or agencies that represent the varied needs of the disabled population can assist in getting access to information about people with disabilities and where they live.
Providing training to first responders using community members will heighten awareness and allow the responders to find out firsthand what needs might arise in the event of a disaster.


These organizations can in turn disseminate information that will aid people with disabilities to assume a role in determining their own needs and therefore take on some of the planning responsibility for their needs. All of that damage is the result not of what bin Laden or Saddam Hussein or the insurgencies that began in their wake did to America, but because of how American strategiests chose to respond.




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