Mary Ellen originally decided to ride out Super Storm Sandy at her home in Rockaway Beach, New York, with her husband, a retired firefighter, and her two teen-age sons. Her family had safely weathered Hurricane Irene a year earlier, and had limited evacuation options due to her health and mobility needs. They thought it would be another success story. Ultimately it was, but not without significant risk.
The Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center’s emergency preparedness team is featured in a video by the National Center for Disaster Medicine & Public Health on health professionals and communities with access and functional needs working together to prepare for disasters.
When a town orders an evacuation in a severe storm, people with disabilities may need the type of help no one has foreseen, such as accessible transportation to a shelter. To make sure people receive the help they need, UMass Medical School’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center will launch an online course to teach emergency planners across the country the best strategies for emergency planning for and with individuals with disabilities.