Integrative project for emergency management



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Integrative project for emergency management



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The vulnerable people, who include the disabled, the elderly, and those with special needs, are most affected during a disaster.  Preparation for disaster through communication and giving warnings is vital for this kind of group. Every day, occurrences state that a lot of work remains to be done in this sector. Historical evidence has shown that most of the population are not obeying nor responding to warnings of an approaching disaster. However, how to deliver such alerts to those who are disabled is more challenging. In addition, there would be disabled people in any population who will be in a disadvantageous position to be efficiently aware and able to comprehend and react to an emergency notification.  Applying technical solutions to assist technologies and easily accessible information can work efficiently to improve life-saving information to disabled individuals in the population. Recent events like the Katrina nursing homes where the evacuation plans were not well implemented, leaving the disabled to fend for themselves, which they were not able to do, shows that disaster preparedness and emergency response are designed for people without disabilities and access to disaster warnings and preparedness does not include those with disabilities. (NCD, 2005)

Historical literature and research of the problem

The recent catastrophic events have proven a need for disaster preparedness and mitigation. The Pakistan Earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, the Tianjin earthquake, and the Indian Ocean Tsunami are prominent examples of catastrophes that have critically affected society. Still, the disabled population is more affected than others. These occurrences prove the necessity for people staying in areas at risk to be affected by natural or human-made disasters to consider actions they would take if they are affected by the disaster. Warning about catastrophes, making the population aware of the preparedness, and a combination of training and rehearsal on how to evacuate during a disaster can widely decrease the number of affected individuals during natural or human-made catastrophes.


For instance, the South Asian Tsunami, which occurred on December 26, 2004, struck the Indian Ocean region unexpectedly, leading to a high life loss and destruction of property. ( Fatin et al., 2020). Though there are Tsunami warnings, none was in place in that region, and the Tsunami struck the area without any awareness. Since none had expected that a Tsunami will ever hit that region, there was no spread of awareness of preparedness for a disaster. Among the people who died on that fateful day, it is estimated that 200,000 who died due to the Tsunami occurrence were people with disabilities. The people interviewed after the Tsunami revealed that among the people with disabilities who died, they included paralyzed children, physically disabled. Out of 16 blind students, 12 killed due to the Tsunami disaster. With the statistics of the lives lost due to the Tsunami, it’s evident that most of the people who died were those with disabilities. They could not save themselves, and there was no preparedness in the evacuation strategies if such kind of a disaster strikes. After the Tsunami, there have been some identifiable developments. Patong Beach, Phuket Island, Thailand, has shown some progress in innovating a warning system and an evacuation strategy. Officials have stated that there are particular plans for people with disabilities. Moreover, the reports have stated that very few people with special needs live within those dangerous places prone to calamities. Also, the nearby hotels are imposing various strategies that may help in the evacuation of the disabled in case a catastrophe strikes.


Also, In September 2004, an earthquake struck the Canterbury region of New Zealand. (Geyer et al., 2021).  A 6.3 earthquake then followed it. After the quake, and 17% to 20% of the affected population were people with disabilities. This occurrence was due to a lack of preparedness for the calamity that hit the region.


Due to the high numbers of death for people with disabilities during disasters, a necessity to prepare them and protect them against calamities arose. Currently, the disabled are included and are provided with the same level of safety as other people. Moreover, the disabled are involved in making plans and policies concerning disaster management.  Several strategies and procedures have been implemented to reduce the high rate of death of the disabled during calamities. These methods have enabled in reducing the number of deaths of disabled people during calamities. The following measures that have been currently put in practice have enabled emergency preparedness for the population with disabilities.

Current measures that enhance emergency preparedness

  • People with disabilities are receiving the same good support as that the general population is getting.
  • Disabled people are being included in the development of emergency plans.
  • The educational programs and awareness are for the whole population and the disabled and vulnerable people.
  • The emergency responders are maintaining a non-discriminatory attitude towards disabled people during an emergency.
  • The emergency responders are taught and trained on how to evacuate physically disabled people, and they are also given appropriate equipment to be used during an evacuation.
  • The recent buildings are designed with pathways and other facilities that accommodate disabled people to ease their movement.
  • The alert procedures are installed in a way that can accommodate disabled people.
  • The locations and the emergency needs that the disabled need is well known and assessed before any calamity strike.
  • Very critical and unique emergency plans are provided where the disabled are concentrated, like the psychiatric hospitals and care homes.

Population Statistics

A recent survey has proven that 600 million people, which is about 10% of the global population, may be disabled in different ways, 80%this is found in under-developed countries. The World Health Organization estimates that the number of people for the disabled may rise, and the awareness and recognition of people with disabilities will expand. Therefore, with this statistic, it is so important to consider almost 1 billion people with disabilities in any plan may it be emergency preparedness.

Emergency management policy

  • Inclusivity of people with disabilities in plans for emergencies and all plans must consider the people with disabilities.
  • Individuals with all kinds of disabilities must be considered a hearing problem, blind, and even mental illness.
  • A plan for emergency preparedness will not be considered complete if it does not involve the people with disabilities wholly.
  • All communication, warnings, and directive meetings that involve emergency preparedness must appropriately consider mentioning the needs of people with disabilities.
  • Universal building design must be met and must consider the disabled people, which provide them with ease in escaping a disaster.
  • Every person who is disabled should build a strategy for personal disaster preparedness. People with disabilities must care for their safety regarding their ability to do so.
  • Train people with disabilities on how they can keep themselves safe during a pandemic or a calamity.
  • People with disabilities are warned about staying in areas that are prone to calamities like Tsunamis.

Disaster preparedness for the disabled

Disabled people drag us back when preparing for a disaster and ways to survive during a pandemic. Since every life is essential, there is a need for composing the less disabled for an emergency. The preparations are done through; (Velmurugan & Swarnam, 2021).

  • Buying a disaster supply kit, A disaster supply kit is a collection of items a disabled person may use to stay safe during a pandemic. Disaster supply kit items should be kept in light containers and placed at an exit. One should also be checking the kit to ensure that all that is needed during a pandemic is available.
  • Creation of an evacuation plan in case a pandemic occurs. The disabled may meet and discuss an escaping plan in case of fire, earthquakes, or even Tsunami appears. They should practice and rehearsal the project for everyone to be well conversant.
  • Discussion of special needs one may want with his or her closest friends so that the person can evacuate the disabled with ease during an emergency. For example, a person with a walking disability can discuss the best way to be moved in case of an emergency with his family.
  • Build a place of stay to be easy for a disabled person to move in by building pathways rather than stairs and ensuring you have an exit in case of a pandemic. It not only applies to the homes but also all buildings should make inconsiderate for the disabled.
  • The supportive group can either be neighbors, friends, or even colleagues who may help in a pandemic. They can aid in evacuation for the most vulnerable, who are the disabled.
  • Being informed of the communities’ response and vacating plans may be about the procedures of responding to an emergency that is considered safe and life-saving by the community surrounding the disabled individual.
  • The preparation for several different pandemics that may occur, the disabled should be well conversant and well prepared for any natural or human-made pandemic that may arise unexpectedly.


In conclusion, it is imperative to prepare and give awareness to the disabled and those with special needs for a disaster that will occur unknowingly. When the plans for emergency preparedness are reviewed, it is evident that the disabled are not included wholly. The South Asian Tsunami that occurred on December 26, 2004, should serve as an example of why we should prepare the disabled for pandemics to save their lives.  The development of an efficient warning way to pass information to those with sensory disabilities remains an important area that needs to be researched. To successfully prepare and give awareness to the disabled to save their lives, it is crucial to include the researchers in developing disaster preparedness and warning.

Moreover, human life is essential, and saving lives should be implemented no matter the circumstances. However, current measures that have been in practice have enhanced the emergency preparedness for people with disabilities. People with disabilities have been included when planning ways to overcome a disaster.




Fatin, M., Sofia, S., & Oktari, R. S. (2020). Earthquake and Tsunami Emergency Preparedness of Visually Disabled People. International Journal of Disaster Management3(1), 1-10.

Geyer, M., Maurer, B. W., Bradley, B. A., Green, R. A., & van Ballegooy, S. (2021). CPT-based liquefaction case histories compiled from three earthquakes in Canterbury, New Zealand. Earthquake Spectra, 8755293021996367.


Hao, X., Gu, J., Ying, X., Bo, T., & Fu, W. (2017). Social support and care needs of the disabled, elderly population: An empirical study based on survey data from Beijing, China. Bioscience trends11(5), 507-515.

Quaill, J., Barker, R., & West, C. (2018). Experiences of individuals with physical disabilities in natural disasters: An integrative review. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, The33(3), 58-63.

Velmurugan, A., Adamawa, S., & Swarnam, P. Post‐tsunami land degradation on a South Asian island: Implications for conservation priorities. Land Degradation & Development.




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