People of this generation aren’t likely to forget the onslaught that was superstorm Sandy earlier this fall. Oregon residents no doubt heard of the destruction and disastrous aftermath the storm caused as it hit many sites on the East Coast. For a particular community of people, however, it may have been especially devastating. Several people are mentioned in a recent source about the victims of the storm who were unable to care for themselves or evacuate due to their limited and disabled capabilities.
The kinds of efforts that have been put in place for people in the event of an emergency, such as Sandy was, are in order to help those who need it, but for some, even those efforts weren’t enough. One man’s story is explained, as he had been unable to reach an emergency help line; was stuck in his apartment, and unable to walk or use his wheelchair while floating to the top of his room due to the water coming in. Luckily, the people who were upstairs heard him and carried him up several floors, where he remained for a few days.
Without the help of many community members, there might have been even more fatalities of disabled people due to this terrible storm. The suit that was approved by a federal judge has been declared a class-action and surrounds the lack of emergency planning for those who were disabled and thus had a “disproportionate risk of injury and death.”
For people in Oregon, following what happens with this story could be helpful to see if certain policies get amended for the benefit and safety of disabled residents. Understanding the options regarding Social Security Disability and the insurance that it provides could help someone who has lost their means of mobility or other health aids to receive proper support for their disability. Working with an attorney or legal representative could be a good first step in applying or appealing for the program.
Source: amny.com, “Disabled people especially vulnerable in calamities such as Sandy,” Sheila Anne Feeney, Nov. 19, 2012