Tonga tsunami: More preparation needed for disabled people in a disaster

Author

Olivia Shivas

Source(s)
Stuff

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Research from CBM, Pacific Disability Forum and New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade published in a 2017 document called Disability Inclusion Policy Brief: Gap analysis on disability-inclusive humanitarian action in the Pacific, looked at the impact natural disasters have on disabled people in the Pacific.

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The research found 5.8 per cent of people with disabilities sustained injuries, versus 2.4 per cent non-disabled people indicating that people living with disabilities were 2.45 times more likely to have been injured during the cyclone.

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People with disabilities are often the last on someone’s list in the queue for support and are even more vulnerable in a disaster, says CBM’s chief executive Dr Murray Sheard.

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“If you’re disabled, it can also be a good idea to build a support network of people who can help you in an emergency. In an emergency, you might need to ask for help to do things you can usually do independently. You should have a support team at each place where you spend a large part of your day. Talk with them about your emergency plan so they know the best way to help you in an emergency.”

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