Disaster preparedness and response for persons with mobility impairments: Results from the University of Kansas nobody left behind study

Michael H. Fox, Glen W. White, Catherine Rooney, Jennifer L. Rowland

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    44 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The objective of this study was to assess the impact of a major disaster on county-level preparedness for persons with mobility disabilities. The authors surveyed 30 randomly selected Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster sites between 1998 and 2003 to determine disability surveillance capacity, the extent to which the disaster experience influenced changes in policies and practices, whether persons with disabilities were involved in the planning process, what factors appeared to drive the planning process, and whether current policies and procedures could be "best practices." They found that people with disabilities were poorly represented in emergency planning; federal training on the needs of people with disabilities appeared useful, although only 27% of emergency managers reported completing the training; 20% of emergency managers reported having disability guidelines in place; and county-level surveillance systems were ineffective. Sixty-six percent of counties had no intention of modifying their guidelines to accommodate the needs of persons with mobility impairments, citing limitations from (a) costs, (b) limited staffing, (c) lack of awareness, (d) other security demands, and (e) broader responsiveness to all "special needs individuals." The authors suggest that improved training, awareness, and surveillance are needed so communities can better respond to the needs of persons with disabilities before, during, and after local disasters. Possible techniques include developing improved technology assistance, providing environmental modifications to improve access for persons with disabilities during disasters, and ensuring far greater participation of persons with disabilities in all phases of the disaster planning and response process.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)196-205
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Disability Policy Studies
    Volume17
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Mar 2007

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    Disasters
    Disabled Persons
    disaster
    disability
    human being
    Emergencies
    surveillance
    planning process
    Disaster Planning
    Guidelines
    manager
    Practice Guidelines
    planning
    staffing
    best practice
    Technology
    Costs and Cost Analysis
    assistance
    participation
    lack

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)

    Cite this

    Disaster preparedness and response for persons with mobility impairments : Results from the University of Kansas nobody left behind study. / Fox, Michael H.; White, Glen W.; Rooney, Catherine; Rowland, Jennifer L.

    In: Journal of Disability Policy Studies, Vol. 17, No. 4, 03.2007, p. 196-205.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Fox, Michael H. ; White, Glen W. ; Rooney, Catherine ; Rowland, Jennifer L. / Disaster preparedness and response for persons with mobility impairments : Results from the University of Kansas nobody left behind study. In: Journal of Disability Policy Studies. 2007 ; Vol. 17, No. 4. pp. 196-205.
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