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Disaster Preparation ForIndividualsWithDisabilities Jacquie Brennan Attorney At Law DBTAC Southwest ADA Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Disaster Preparation ForIndividualsWithDisabilities Jacquie Brennan Attorney At Law DBTAC Southwest ADA Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Disaster Preparation ForIndividualsWithDisabilities Jacquie Brennan Attorney At Law DBTAC Southwest ADA Center

2 A Word of Thanks ILRU at Memorial Hermann/TIRR ILRU at Memorial Hermann/TIRR June Kailes June Kailes JANs Employers Guide for Evac Plans JANs Employers Guide for Evac Plans Time Magazine Time Magazine

3 A National Culture of Unpreparedness

4 Ancient History

5 N O L A

6 Building Codes Louisiana Louisiana Florida Florida Mississippi Mississippi

7 Preparation The Gulf Coast is not prepared for the next big storm. The Gulf Coast is not prepared for the next big storm. In the months since Katrina, the rest of the U.S. has not proved to be a quicker study than the Gulf Coast. In the months since Katrina, the rest of the U.S. has not proved to be a quicker study than the Gulf Coast.

8 Trickle Down Apathy There is still no federal law requiring state and local officials to plan for the evacuation of the sick, elderly, poor or individuals with disabilities. There is still no federal law requiring state and local officials to plan for the evacuation of the sick, elderly, poor or individuals with disabilities. But earlier this year, both houses of Congress triumphantly passed bills that require locals to plan for the evacuation of pets. But earlier this year, both houses of Congress triumphantly passed bills that require locals to plan for the evacuation of pets.

9 Trickle Down Apathy In June, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an unprecedented analysis of state and urban emergency plans around the country, including assessments of evacuation plans and command structures. The report concluded that most "cannot be characterized as fully adequate, feasible, or acceptable." In June, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an unprecedented analysis of state and urban emergency plans around the country, including assessments of evacuation plans and command structures. The report concluded that most "cannot be characterized as fully adequate, feasible, or acceptable."

10 Worst Performers Dallas Dallas New Orleans New Orleans Oklahoma City Oklahoma City By far the best – Florida!

11 Its not just bureaucrats In a TIME poll, about half of those surveyed said they had personally experienced a natural disaster or public emergency. In a TIME poll, about half of those surveyed said they had personally experienced a natural disaster or public emergency. But only 16% said they were "very well prepared" for the next one. Of the rest, about half explained their lack of preparedness by saying they don't live in a high-risk area. But only 16% said they were "very well prepared" for the next one. Of the rest, about half explained their lack of preparedness by saying they don't live in a high-risk area.

12 But in fact… In fact, 91% of Americans live in places at a moderate-to-high risk of earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, high-wind damage or terrorism, according to an estimate by the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute at the University of South Carolina. In fact, 91% of Americans live in places at a moderate-to-high risk of earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, high-wind damage or terrorism, according to an estimate by the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute at the University of South Carolina. But Americans have a tendency to be die-hard optimists, literally. It is part of what makes the country great--and vincible. But Americans have a tendency to be die-hard optimists, literally. It is part of what makes the country great--and vincible.

13 Four Stages of Disaster Denial It wont happen here. It wont happen here. Even if it happens here, it wont happen to me. Even if it happens here, it wont happen to me. Even if it happens to me, it wont be that bad. Even if it happens to me, it wont be that bad. Even if its that bad, theres nothing I could have done about it anyway. Even if its that bad, theres nothing I could have done about it anyway.

14 Too poor to evacuate? The conventional wisdom after Katrina was that most of the people who failed to evacuate were too poor to do so. But a recent survey in eight hurricane-prone states showed that other forces may also be at play. The conventional wisdom after Katrina was that most of the people who failed to evacuate were too poor to do so. But a recent survey in eight hurricane-prone states showed that other forces may also be at play. The survey, led by Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health, attempted to determine what, if anything, would pry people from their homes in the face of another Katrina. The survey, led by Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health, attempted to determine what, if anything, would pry people from their homes in the face of another Katrina. Overall, 33% said they would not leave or were not sure whether they would leave if an evacuation order was given. But it was homeowners, at 39%, who were particularly stubborn. Overall, 33% said they would not leave or were not sure whether they would leave if an evacuation order was given. But it was homeowners, at 39%, who were particularly stubborn. Lack of funds or transportation does play a role for stay-behinds, but according to the poll, a greater consideration is a vague belief that their home is built well enough to survive a storm--a justification offered by a whopping 68%. Lack of funds or transportation does play a role for stay-behinds, but according to the poll, a greater consideration is a vague belief that their home is built well enough to survive a storm--a justification offered by a whopping 68%.

15 Rescue Me! 66% of those surveyed were also confident that if they stayed at home, they would eventually be rescued--a faith hardly justified by the Katrina experience. 66% of those surveyed were also confident that if they stayed at home, they would eventually be rescued--a faith hardly justified by the Katrina experience. Ours is a strange culture of irrational distrust--buoyed by irrational optimism. Ours is a strange culture of irrational distrust--buoyed by irrational optimism.

16 Yeah, but Im not old! Heat waves bring out the same kind of self-delusion. Scott Sheridan, professor of geography at Kent State University, has studied heat-wave behavior--focusing particularly on seniors, who are at special risk in hot weather--in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Toronto, and Dayton. Heat waves bring out the same kind of self-delusion. Scott Sheridan, professor of geography at Kent State University, has studied heat-wave behavior--focusing particularly on seniors, who are at special risk in hot weather--in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Toronto, and Dayton. He found that less than half of people 65 and older abide by heat-emergency recommendations like drinking lots of water. He found that less than half of people 65 and older abide by heat-emergency recommendations like drinking lots of water. Reason: they don't consider themselves to be old. Reason: they don't consider themselves to be old.

17 Kathleen Tierney, head of the Natural Hazards Center "We as human societies have yet to understand... that nature doesn't care. And for that reason, we must care."

18 People with disabilities: –are not currently included in emergency planning and little, if any, communication exists between planners and the disability community; –have a wide variety of communication, support and health needs that differentiate them from persons without disabilities; –often live in low income areas that include areas at higher risk for chemical emergencies.

19 How to Prepare The very first thing to think about, long before you are faced with an emergency is: The very first thing to think about, long before you are faced with an emergency is: How To Leave

20 A Way Out Decide now how you will get out in case of an emergency. Decide now how you will get out in case of an emergency. Plan how you will leave your house, as well as how you will leave your city. Plan how you will leave your house, as well as how you will leave your city. Make a drawing of the layout of your house. Plan an escape route in the event of a sudden disaster. In a childs room, this should be posted at the childs eye level. Make a drawing of the layout of your house. Plan an escape route in the event of a sudden disaster. In a childs room, this should be posted at the childs eye level. Make a plan of where to meet outside the house – either at a neighbors house or maybe at a neighborhood store a few blocks away. Make a plan of where to meet outside the house – either at a neighbors house or maybe at a neighborhood store a few blocks away.

21 A Total Turn-Off For some emergencies and/or evacuations, you might be instructed to turn off your utilities before you leave home. For some emergencies and/or evacuations, you might be instructed to turn off your utilities before you leave home. Find out how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity to your house before youre in the middle of a disaster. Find out how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity to your house before youre in the middle of a disaster. Do not turn your own gas back on. You must have a professional do that. Do not turn your own gas back on. You must have a professional do that.

22 Every family member should have a card with important information on it. This is a sample published by FEMA:

23 Got Papers? Keep important papers in a safe location. Keep important papers in a safe location. That is pretty simple. That is pretty simple. The hard part may be deciding what to include in the category of important papers. The hard part may be deciding what to include in the category of important papers.

24 What is Important Identification – drivers license, passport Identification – drivers license, passport Lease agreement Lease agreement Insurance policies Insurance policies Birth certificates, marriage certificates Birth certificates, marriage certificates Divorce papers, custody papers Divorce papers, custody papers Guardianship papers Guardianship papers Wills, powers of attorney Wills, powers of attorney Deeds Deeds Immunization records Immunization records Property records Property records Social security cards Social security cards

25 Names and Numbers All treating physicians All treating physicians Your bank Your bank Your therapists Your therapists Your pharmacy Your pharmacy Friends and family (do not depend on your cell phone for numbers) Friends and family (do not depend on your cell phone for numbers)

26 Computers If you keep important records, especially financial information, on your computer, back up that information onto disks or a portable drive that you can take with you. If you keep important records, especially financial information, on your computer, back up that information onto disks or a portable drive that you can take with you.

27 First Aid Kit Your own first aid kit should include the usual items in a first aid kit plus any prescription medications you take. Your own first aid kit should include the usual items in a first aid kit plus any prescription medications you take. Consider having a separate kit at work, at home, and even in the car. Consider having a separate kit at work, at home, and even in the car.

28 Home Sweet Home Kit Your disaster supplies kit should contain essential food, water, and supplies for at least three days. Your disaster supplies kit should contain essential food, water, and supplies for at least three days. Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept. Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept. Additionally, you may want to consider having supplies for sheltering for up to two weeks. Additionally, you may want to consider having supplies for sheltering for up to two weeks.

29 Home Away From Home Kit to Keep at Work This kit should be in one container, and ready to "grab and go" in case you are evacuated from your workplace. This kit should be in one container, and ready to "grab and go" in case you are evacuated from your workplace. Make sure you have food and water in the kit. Also, be sure to have comfortable walking shoes at your workplace in case an evacuation requires walking long distances. Make sure you have food and water in the kit. Also, be sure to have comfortable walking shoes at your workplace in case an evacuation requires walking long distances.

30 Car Kit In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car. In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car. This kit should contain food, water, first aid supplies, flares, jumper cables, and seasonal supplies. This kit should contain food, water, first aid supplies, flares, jumper cables, and seasonal supplies.

31 Dont Forget Medical Equipment – make arrangements to take it with you if you must evacuate Medical Equipment – make arrangements to take it with you if you must evacuate Medical Supplies – get extras now Medical Supplies – get extras now Prescriptions – take the bottles with you, and also maintain a list with strengths and dosages Prescriptions – take the bottles with you, and also maintain a list with strengths and dosages

32 To Leave or Not to Leave You may, at some point before or during a disaster, make a decision about whether to leave. Your decision will likely be based on whether there is time to leave, road conditions, and what emergency management officials are advising. You may, at some point before or during a disaster, make a decision about whether to leave. Your decision will likely be based on whether there is time to leave, road conditions, and what emergency management officials are advising.

33 If you have a disability… If you have a disability… If you are hearing impaired, you might need to make special arrangements to receive an alternative to the audible warnings that others will hear. If you are hearing impaired, you might need to make special arrangements to receive an alternative to the audible warnings that others will hear. If you have a mobility impairment, you may need to make special arrangements for transportation and check on the accessibility of a shelter in advance. If you have a mobility impairment, you may need to make special arrangements for transportation and check on the accessibility of a shelter in advance.

34 Or if… If you have life-sustaining medical equipment, you will need to make arrangements for that to be evacuated with you. If you have life-sustaining medical equipment, you will need to make arrangements for that to be evacuated with you. If you have special dietary needs, you need to be sure that you have an adequate emergency food supply. If you have special dietary needs, you need to be sure that you have an adequate emergency food supply.

35 At the first sign If evacuation is even mentioned as a possibility, start gathering what you will need to take with you and dont forget extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, and food for service animals. If evacuation is even mentioned as a possibility, start gathering what you will need to take with you and dont forget extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, and food for service animals.

36 Registration Your communitys emergency management office may offer the opportunity for individuals with disabilities to register in a database if they will need special assistance during a disaster because of their disability. Your communitys emergency management office may offer the opportunity for individuals with disabilities to register in a database if they will need special assistance during a disaster because of their disability. If you think you might want to register, be sure to ask what services are promised to people who register and what the consequence is of not registering. If you think you might want to register, be sure to ask what services are promised to people who register and what the consequence is of not registering.

37 Pets Plan in advance for what you will do with your pets (not service animals) by keeping extra pet supplies, keeping up-to-date veterinary records, making sure your pet is wearing identification, and getting a pet carrier. Plan in advance for what you will do with your pets (not service animals) by keeping extra pet supplies, keeping up-to-date veterinary records, making sure your pet is wearing identification, and getting a pet carrier. Contact animal shelters in advance to find out about services they may offer during an evacuation. If you have an idea about where you will go if your area is evacuated, call ahead to find out which hotels will accept pets and/or where local animal boarding facilities are located in the place where you plan to go. Take a description and a photo of your pet with you in case you become separated. Contact animal shelters in advance to find out about services they may offer during an evacuation. If you have an idea about where you will go if your area is evacuated, call ahead to find out which hotels will accept pets and/or where local animal boarding facilities are located in the place where you plan to go. Take a description and a photo of your pet with you in case you become separated. Pets (with the exception of service animals) are generally not permitted in shelters. Pets (with the exception of service animals) are generally not permitted in shelters.

38 Animals of Size Preparing before a disaster is crucial if you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats, or pigs on your property. Preparing before a disaster is crucial if you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats, or pigs on your property. Make sure all of the animals have identification, and evacuate them, if at all possible. Be sure you have adequate vehicles, trailers, handlers, and drivers available. Make sure all of the animals have identification, and evacuate them, if at all possible. Be sure you have adequate vehicles, trailers, handlers, and drivers available. Make sure there is food, water, shelter, and care available and waiting at your destination. Make sure there is food, water, shelter, and care available and waiting at your destination. If evacuation is impossible, then you will have to decide whether to try to move the animals to shelter or turn them outside. If evacuation is impossible, then you will have to decide whether to try to move the animals to shelter or turn them outside.

39 Service Animals If you evacuate, be sure to take your service animals medications and medical records, along with a sturdy harness and a carrier that is large enough for the animal to stand, turn, and lie down. If you evacuate, be sure to take your service animals medications and medical records, along with a sturdy harness and a carrier that is large enough for the animal to stand, turn, and lie down. Take enough pet food and water to last three days. Take enough pet food and water to last three days. Taking some of your service animals familiar items may help reduce stress for your animal. Taking some of your service animals familiar items may help reduce stress for your animal.

40 Shelter here or there Whether you take refuge in a shelter, or in your home, you need to plan ahead. Whether you take refuge in a shelter, or in your home, you need to plan ahead. Following a natural disaster, you may not be able to get any help for several days. You need to have your own food and fresh water and other supplies to last for at least three days. Following a natural disaster, you may not be able to get any help for several days. You need to have your own food and fresh water and other supplies to last for at least three days. It is likely that you will be without one or more basic services like electricity, gas, water, or telephones for days or weeks. It is likely that you will be without one or more basic services like electricity, gas, water, or telephones for days or weeks.

41 Communication If you may have difficulty understanding or communicating with shelter staff, you may want to prepare written cards in advance that explain your disability and the kind of help you are likely to need in order to understand and/or communicate with staff. If you may have difficulty understanding or communicating with shelter staff, you may want to prepare written cards in advance that explain your disability and the kind of help you are likely to need in order to understand and/or communicate with staff.

42 Your Bidness If you have a business, there is no requirement that you have an emergency evacuation plan (unless you have obligations under OSHA or your state/local law). If you have a business, there is no requirement that you have an emergency evacuation plan (unless you have obligations under OSHA or your state/local law). But if you DO have a plan, then it must include individuals with disabilities. But if you DO have a plan, then it must include individuals with disabilities.

43 Inclusive Planning When an emergency plan is being developed, include employees with disabilities in the planning. When an emergency plan is being developed, include employees with disabilities in the planning. Do not assume that everyone with a disability will need evac assistance. Do not assume that everyone with a disability will need evac assistance. People with disabilities are in the best position to assess their needs. People with disabilities are in the best position to assess their needs. Its all right to do an annual survey. Its all right to do an annual survey.

44 A few ideas to get started Emergency alarms and signs (accessible and in working order) that show emergency exit routes; Emergency alarms and signs (accessible and in working order) that show emergency exit routes; Designate areas of rescue assistance (Section of the ADAAG); Designate areas of rescue assistance (Section of the ADAAG); Purchase evacuation devices and train employees; Purchase evacuation devices and train employees; Remove physical barriers to evac routes. Remove physical barriers to evac routes.

45 A few more ideas For people who use wheelchairs, employers may want to provide heavy gloves to protect hands from debris and a patch kit to repair flat tires. For people who use wheelchairs, employers may want to provide heavy gloves to protect hands from debris and a patch kit to repair flat tires. Install lighted fire strobes and other visual or vibrating alerting devices to go along with audible alarms. Section 4.28 ADAAG. Install lighted fire strobes and other visual or vibrating alerting devices to go along with audible alarms. Section 4.28 ADAAG.

46 Still more ideas Install tactile signs and maps for employees with vision impairments. Install tactile signs and maps for employees with vision impairments. Think about ways to communicate with employees who have cognitive impairments. Think about ways to communicate with employees who have cognitive impairments. Employees with respiratory impairments might have difficulties with smoke, dust, fume, or chemicals. Consider evacuation hoods, masks, respirators. Employees with respiratory impairments might have difficulties with smoke, dust, fume, or chemicals. Consider evacuation hoods, masks, respirators.

47 So much information There is a lot of information about emergency planning for individuals, businesses, agencies, and governmental entities. There is a lot of information about emergency planning for individuals, businesses, agencies, and governmental entities. On the next several slides, helpful websites are listed. On the next several slides, helpful websites are listed.

48 Websites Preparing the Workplace for Everyone: Accounting for the Needs of People with Disabilities. ng.htm Preparing the Workplace for Everyone: Accounting for the Needs of People with Disabilities. ng.htm ng.htm ng.htm Project Safe Evac: Project Safe Evac:

49 More Websites ADA Guide for Local Governments: Making Community Emergency Preparedness and Response Programs Accessible to People with Disabilities: ADA Guide for Local Governments: Making Community Emergency Preparedness and Response Programs Accessible to People with Disabilities: NOD Guide on the Special Needs of Individuals with Disabilities for Emergency Managers, Planners, and Responders: 05.pdf NOD Guide on the Special Needs of Individuals with Disabilities for Emergency Managers, Planners, and Responders: 05.pdf

50 More Websites JAN Employers Guide to Including Employees with Disabilities in Emergency Evacuation Plans: JAN Employers Guide to Including Employees with Disabilities in Emergency Evacuation Plans: FEMA Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry: st.pdf FEMA Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry: st.pdf

51 Just a few more FEMA Emergency Procedures for Employees with Disabilities in Office Occupancies: ions/fa-154.txt FEMA Emergency Procedures for Employees with Disabilities in Office Occupancies: ions/fa-154.txt ions/fa-154.txt ions/fa-154.txt BEST OF SHOW: June Kailes Disaster Resources for People with Disabilities and Emergency Managers: BEST OF SHOW: June Kailes Disaster Resources for People with Disabilities and Emergency Managers:

52 Questions? Contact the DBTAC Southwest ADA Center


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