Submitted by ManuelRothe on Tue, 12/10/2019 - 18:13

To prepare for inclusive search and rescue:

  • Make sure that persons from at-risk groups are represented in search and rescue sub-committees.
  • Share available information on the location of persons in need of specific assistance in the community (provided their consent to share their details) with search and rescue task forces and first responders (police, fire fighters, civil protection units, etc.).
  • Include assistive devices such as stretchers, wheelchairs and crutches in equipment stocks and train task forces/first responder in their use.
  • Ensure that search and rescue assets (ambulance, boats, etc.) are accessible. Retrofit vehicles with ramps where necessary.
  • Train task force members/first responders how to provide search and rescue and first aid techniques to suit women and men of different ages with different types of disabilities and injuries, including knowledge of appropriate carrying techniques that do not cause discomfort or further injury.
  • Build communication skills of task force members and ask them to talk with persons with disabilities and older persons during preparedness phase and in event analysis to understand specific assistance needs.

In the event of a disaster:

  • Do not separate people from their assistive devices (if they have one) and their caregiver, so that they can maintain their mobility in the post-disaster phase.
  • Only transfer persons with disabilities or older persons to healthcare facilities if they are injured, not by default. If the person is not able to communicate their medical requirements, involve family member or a caregiver in assessing their health needs before taking action.
Pacific Disability Forum (PDF). Fiji Disability Inclusive Community Based Disaster Risk Management Toolkit. 2013
Handicap International. Disability Inclusive Community Based Disaster Risk Management. A toolkit for practice in South Asia. 2012
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