Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Disabled Left Behind During Disasters

15 Mar 2011In a report in the Los Angeles Times newspaper last week, it was stated that LA has a plan for its city, in the event of a disaster, as most major cities do, but the plan in LA doesn’t take into account the cities 800,000 disabled residents that inhabit it.

A judge ruled in favour of a disability rights group, who sued the city of Los Angeles, for violating the federal ‘Americans With Disabilities’ Act, whilst creating a disaster plan that did not consider the needs of residents living in LA who have a disability.

Throughout the 200 pages of the Emergency Operations Plan, there is no mention whatsoever for people living in LA with a disability, to receive the adequate transportation or shelter that would be required during a disaster.

The need for planning for people with a disability in a disaster was hi-lighted during 2005’s infamous Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, where almost 2000 people were killed. With something as severe as Hurricane Katrina, I understand that no amount of planning would save the lives of people with a disability, but an adequate, well thought out plan, could help save the lives of those who are less mobile to begin with, and who sustain injuries that able bodied people would be able to handle with less difficulty and more resilience.

Reading through some of the comments that have been left underneath the original story, has made me feel poignant, to know that there are people who have such little regard for the lives of less fortunate human beings in an emergency.

Click here to read the original story and comments below: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-disabled-ruling-20110212,0,7903445.story

Most of the people who left comments, have stated that it’s every man for himself, and have voiced that there would be nothing anyone could do to help people with a disability in an emergency.

One reader even commented, that people with a disability should buy their own ‘in case of emergency kits’, like a generator for back up to power ventilators ect, in the impended event of an emergency. That’s all well and good, but where does this reader expect someone with a disability, who already has enough to pay for and worry about, to come up with an extra few thousand dollars to pay for such expensive items, to assist them in a possible emergency that may never happen???

So with all of the natural disasters that happen around the world, do you think every city should have an emergency plan that also has aspects dedicated to the residents who have a disability? I don’t even think this should be a question, it should already be part of the plan.

Disabled Left Behind During Disasters


Disabled Left Behind During Disasters


Disabled Left Behind During Disasters


Disabled Left Behind During Disasters


Disabled Left Behind During Disasters



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Previous Comments

Toni from Wollongong posted on 16 Mar 2011
This story got me thinking and wondering if our governments have plans to help the disabled during an evacuation if needed and to my horror there are none. the closest I came on finding help in evacuation for the disabled was this site.http://www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/content.php/531.htmlAnd everywhere I read there are NO plans for us. This concerns me because I am one that hardly leaves the house because I avoid the stairs as I fall down them everytime and injure myself, so I do not know my neighbours.I think the Governments need to have plans for those of us that aren't able to ask our neigbours for help and many of us don't have families to get help from and there are many that don't own a vehicle or have carers that drive.

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