Columbia, South Carolina (WOLO) — People with disabilities are up to four times more likely to be injured or killed in a disaster than people without disabilities, according to Able South Carolina.
To change that, Able SC has partnered with the SC Department of Aging to provide weather warnings and assistance kits for people with disabilities.
Mandy Halloran, director of public health and disability integration at Able SC, said people with disabilities are more affected when power and water utilities fail during bad weather.
“Our goal is to ensure that people with disabilities are included in all aspects of emergency planning and have equitable service across the state,” Halloran said.
Funded by a grant from Dominion Energy, Halloran said the kit will be customized to each person’s needs.
This includes three days of food and water, a weather radio linked to the National Weather Service, and more.
Bed shakers, loud alarms and strobe lights are available for the deaf and hard of hearing. We can also include a pet pack for those with service animals.
Reba Landry, Disabilities Health Equity Specialist at Able SC, says the kit helps people with disabilities feel less alone in an emergency.
“We have often been left behind or put on the back burner. I think this helps many people with disabilities to recognize and actually embrace the knowledge that we matter It’s a step, you can access it in an emergency,” says Landry.
Dori Tempio, director of community outreach and consumer rights at Able SC, said 1 in 4 people nationwide have a disability, and 1 in 3 people in South Carolina have a disability. I’m here.
“A tornado, a hurricane, a power outage, an ice storm, whatever. It truly transforms the power of people with disabilities to feel confident, to know they are at the center of making choices and decisions, and to feel confident in their preparation.” I’ll give it to you,” Tempio says.
According to Able SC, Weather Kit training is free and can be done in person or virtually for individuals and families.
Kits will be ready for distribution in 4-6 weeks. The organization says it will alert the public when the kit is ready for distribution.