People With Disabilities Hit Hardest By Storms, Say Advocates

In a disaster, children and adults with disabilities are two to four times more likely to be injured or die.

Feature (North Carolina)

Jason Debruyn
WUNC (Chapel Hill)
April 30, 2019

Tags: Disability Rights, Natural Disasters

Organizations mentioned/involved: Disability Rights North Carolina


Disability Rights NC inspected 26 shelters after Florence. It found problems with physical accessibility and lack of access to important services. Shearin says federal, state and local emergency management officials are not addressing the needs of people with disabilities during the disaster preparedness process.

Iris Green is a senior attorney with Disability Rights NC and wants to improve preparedness before the next disaster hits.

“We’re trying to make sure that the state knows that they are responsible for people with disabilities before and after disaster,” said Green. “And make sure that those people are trained. And that they are available. And we have enough of them to be able to meet the needs of all people with disabilities during our next disaster.