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Individuals with Disabilities and Sheltering During Hurricane Ike

Individuals with Disabilities and Sheltering During Hurricane Ike

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Individuals with Disabilities and Sheltering During Hurricane Ike

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  1. Individuals with Disabilities and Sheltering During Hurricane Ike Laura M. Stough, PhD Elizabeth H. Ducy, M.Ed Texas A&M University

  2. Sheltering Experience • Sheltering is an integral part of emergency management • Certain populations have been found to be vulnerable to the effects of disaster • Female head of households • Those whose first language is not English • Individuals from ethnically and culturally diverse groups • Individuals with disabilities • Vulnerability to disaster and its aftermath is socially constructed and is best viewed as social vulnerability

  3. AP Photo/Eric Gay

  4. Literature on Sheltering Report on Special Needs Assessment for Katrina Evacuees (SNAKE) Project (2005) • Four “rapid assessment teams” deployed during the first week of September 2005 • Conducted interviews and observations in shelters and emergency operations centers in four Gulf States • Documented accessibility issues and barriers to services in shelters

  5. Literature on Sheltering Brodie, Weltzien, Altman, Blendon, Benson (2006) • Surveyed residents of Houston area shelters after Hurricane Katrina • People with a physical disability reported not being able to evacuate • Disproportionate number of shelter residents were African American, low income and uninsured

  6. Aftermath of Hurricane Ike • Storm surge of 17 feet • 74 deaths in Texas • 1.9 million evacuees • Over 2 million without power • 40,614 in public shelters (FEMA)

  7. Current Operations Decision Window Execution Window State Evacuation Sequence Evacuation Special Needs General Pop Contraflow Begins (+/-) Sep 11/11:00 AM H–120 H–96 H-72 H–48 H–36 H-24 H Hour SAR H-Hour = Arrival of Tropical Force or 39 mph winds on the coast (Sep 12, 11:00 AM)

  8. Evacuation to Special Needs Shelters

  9. Dallas Convention Center Shelter

  10. Dallas Convention Center Shelter

  11. Dallas Convention Center Shelter • Shelter had a maximum capacity of 1300, which was filled on Friday the 12th • Several small bus loads of individuals with medical needs / disabilities arrived on Thursday and early Friday morning at the shelter • Contacted through 211 evacuation registry • No confirmed shelter destination • Many “Medical Special Needs” shelters were full • Special case of dialysis patients

  12. Dallas Convention Center Shelter

  13. Disability Assessment Survey • Questions of interest: • What were the current needs of individuals with disabilities and their families in this sheltering situation? • What were the physical and psychological impacts of the evacuation and sheltering experience? • How many individuals with disabilities were in the general shelter population?

  14. Disability Assessment Study • Instrument: • 27 items on the survey • 8 items were demographic in nature • 7 items were disability-related • 3 items were used to determine if the individual was classified as having a disability • Procedure: • Each person in the designated special needs area were interviewed using all questions on the survey • All individuals in Section “B” of the shelter were contacted

  15. Disability Assessment Survey • Data Collected: • Combined special needs beds 46 • Individuals with disabilities 36 • Companions/family members 10 • General population beds 206 • Individuals with disabilities 17 • Companions/family members TOTAL CONTACTS + INTERVIEWS 252

  16. Disability Assessment Study 2008 Congreso Ingeniería Civil – Costa Rica 2008 Congreso Ingeniería Civil – Costa Rica

  17. In Summary • Only 30-35% of the estimated population with special needs in this shelter were identified by the Red Cross • All of those assessed in the special needs section either 1) had a disability, or 2) were a caretaker, or 3) were the family member of someone with a disability • An estimated 8.3% of those in the general shelter section had a disability that significantly limited at least one ADL (Activity of Daily Living) • In this non-medical special needs shelter 11.5-12.1% of the total population had a disability

  18. In Conclusion • Sheltering and evacuation procedures need to include the needs of people with disabilities in the general population • It is not enough for shelters to be physically accessible but “service accessible” • Shelters need to plan for “universal design” services so that the needs of a full cross-section of the population are included

  19. Contact Information Laura M. Stough, Ph.D. Elizabeth H. Ducy, M.Ed. Project REDD at