THE MAGAZINE

Emergency planning

A wheelchair-bound person with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis was in a Los Angeles building when occupants were asked to evacuate because of a bomb threat. Other occupants scrambled down the stairs to safety, while the disabled youth waited for assistance. No one came, so the person struggled mightily to climb down three flights of stairs to evacuate. Fortunately, the threat was a hoax, but this type of situation is all too common for the disabled in disaster planning. The NCD report, Saving Lives: Including People with Disabilities in Emergency Planning, can be found on SM Online.

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