No Shelter in a StormBy Rouba, Kelly; Action Magazine,
Publication Date: September 10, 2008
Article describes efforts to establish accessible hurricane shelters in the state of Florida and discusses hurricane preparedness for people with mobility disabilities. Focus is on one couple’s experiences in seeking an accessible shelter as the husband was in a wheelchair following a spinal cord injury. The wife, being nine months pregnant, was advised to seek shelter in a hospital, while no hospital would agree to also admit her husband, citing a lack of proper resources. Inquiries made to the five special needs shelters located in Broward County revealed that they would not accommodate people in wheelchairs. With the intervention of Florida’s Statewide Disability Coordinator for the Division of Emergency Management, requirements stipulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have been brought to the attention of the state’s emergency shelters, which are required to provide accommodations such as electricity for a respirator, insulin for diabetics, and air conditioning for people with poor body temperature control, in addition to wheelchair transfer assistance. Other accessibility issues mentioned include the availability of higher cots for easy transfer and the accommodation of interpreters and service animals. Emergency preparedness tips for people with disabilities offered include providing for an adequate supply of medicines and medical supplies, making sure prescriptions are with a major national pharmacy chain, including wheelchair repair tools in the emergency kit, and putting name tags on assistive devices in case they get lost.
Published by: United Spinal Association (Website:http://www.unitedspinal.org)
Link to text: http://www.unitedspinal.org/publications/action/2008/09/10/no-shelter-in-a-storm/