Archive for August, 2011

By Emma Rosenthal

One might assume that natural disasters are “beyond politics”.  Certainly the massive, popular rush to donate to victims of disasters indicates as such.  But where that money goes, how it is used and who receives services in general is highly political.  Politics and power informs much of the resource distribution and policy in a variety of disasters including evacuation plans in fire zones inhabited by some of California’s wealthiest residents, and the  decisions of which communities to save from the blaze;  building integrity in earthquake zones, and evacuation and shelter planning during these disasters.  In many cases, media and social service agencies put the care of pets over the care of entire human populations, many of whom not only are left on their own, but are left confined to inescapable conditions.

As people use their own personal resources (to the extent that they have them), to batten down the hatches, and people with renters or homeowners insurance find shelter at fine hotels, more marginalized populations face dire circumstances, as they fall through (and get stuffed in) the cracks of the failing infrastructure.

The following links provide information for and about some of the more vulnerable and targeted populations, the discarded sisters and brothers of our collective human family.



As Hurricane Irene approaches the East Coast of the US, we urge all of our members and other people living with disabilities in states that may be impacted by this dangerous storm to be prepared.


‎‎”‎”We are not evacuating Rikers Island,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a news conference this afternoon…
According to the New York City Department of Corrections’ own website, more than three-quarters of Rikers Island’s 400 acres are built on landfill–which is generally thought to be more vulnerable to natural disasters. Its ten jails have a capacity of close to 17,000 inmates, and normally house at least 12,000, including juveniles and large numbers of prisoners with mental illness–not to mention pre-trial detainees who have yet to be convicted of any crime. There are also hundreds of corrections officers at work on the island.”




From North Carolina to New York City, thousands of people have already evacuated their homes to escape Hurricane Irene’s path. Among them are transgender people who, like others, don’t have anywhere else to turn to except for evacuation shelters.”
some of the problems facing people with dis-abilities (pwds) during california wild fires.http://www.nobodyleftbehind2.org/speakout/speakout1.shtml


One in five Americans lives with a disability. 1 Each month one or more communities, which include residents with disabilities are working to recover from a natural or man-made (sic) disaster.


New York City Mayor Bloomberg has announced that in the event of a hurricane, that he will not evacuate prisoners at Rikers’ Island, claiming instead to have a “contingency plan” in place. The experience of prisoners in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina shows that city authorities will abandon the basic rights of prisoners in the face of disaster.


Emergency Shelters. Shelter information is available through the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder at www.NYC.gov/hurricanezones or by calling 311 (TTY: 212-204-4115). This site is overwhelmed and may take time to access. We are attaching a list of shelters. There are 91 emergency shelters.We are advised by OEM that the shelters are accessible and will have accessible toilets, cots, etc.We have not been advised what arrangements have been made for ASL interpreters at shelters.”


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