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Booklet on Disaster Preparedness for PWD

Message from Marsha Katz, ADAPT Montana

Dear Friends,

In the wake of the terrorist acts committed in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania 2 weeks ago, a number of stories have emerged in the media about persons with disabilities. Some of these stories gave us reason for hope and cause for celebration because they told of both inclusion of pwd in the workplace, and the efforts of employers and the assistance of co-workers to assure that pwd were also safely evacuated.

One such evacuation was able to occur because, after the WTC bomb scare in 1993, an employer purchased and had available an evacuation chair for a man with quadriplegia. Other stories, which told of pwd left to die because there was no evacuation plan or equipment in place ( an essential "reasonable accommodation" under Title III of the ADA, in my opinion), had devastatingly painful endings.

And, while they weren't in any of the affected buildings, many additional pwd who lived and/or worked in the immediate neighborhoods of the WTC and Pentagon were none-the-less affected by power outages, blocked streets, no access to transportation, PAs who couldn't reach them or who were afraid to come.

All too often in our country, we don't put in traffic lights until a death occurs at an intersection. But, the fact that we finally install them at least speaks to our ability to learn from painful lessons and move forward in a more thoughtful and prudent manner. In that spirit, I am forwarding to you a link to a Red Cross fact sheet on Disaster Preparedness for PWD, and I'm attaching the 48 page booklet from which that fact sheet was drawn. If you have any trouble opening the attachment, there is a link to the booklet on the fact sheet so you can download it yourself.

The information in the two items applies to you whether you are at risk of being caught in a fire, a power outage, a tornado/hurricane, a snowstorm....or an event like September 11, 2001.

Please take time to read this information, use it, share it with loved ones, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and your community.

We can't always will what happens in life, and we are all affected by random chance, but we do have the ability to level the playing field a bit, and to create inclusive communities where all people are equally valued.

Marsha Katz

Click here: American Red Cross- Medical Concerns

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