Local Survey: Over 50% of People with Disabilities Not Prepared for Disasters

By: Christian Von Preysing

Related Story

HARLINGEN - A local researcher says a lot more needs to be done about emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.

Mike Orbin and his mother have been waiting in a Harlingen hotel room for three weeks following the flooding.

They say the water nearly topped their heads, as they are both in wheelchairs.

"Here we are two people in wheelchairs sitting in four foot high water and boats going by our house. We're yelling we need help, and the boats just keep going on by," says Orbin.

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley professor Dean Kyne says this is a problem for all four counties.

At least half of people in his study reported they weren't prepared.

He says he started this research after seeing the effects of the Asian tsunami when he was studying in Thailand.

Kyne surveyed more than 300 disabled people in the Valley, asking them a number of questions including if they're prepared now.

He says he and his students showed his results to emergency managers from around the Valley and some acknowledged they need to get in touch with groups that work with disabled people.

Orbin says he didn't make arrangements with authorities before the storm, but neither had they gotten in touch with him or his mother.

For more information watch the video above.


7 Days