Text Box: Don’t let this happen to you . . .“I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and use a wheelchair.  We had a bomb threat at work, which was very scary. Everyone evacuated, but I was still left on the 3rd floor by the stairwell for the firefighters to come get me. But, no one came. Finally, I just struggled and used pure fear to get myself down the stairs and out.” - Los Angeles , CA


We, at the University of Kansas , recently investigated 30 randomly selected U.S. sites that experienced a natural or man-made disaster. Our goal is to learn about their emergency response systems and the impact of disasters on people with mobility impairments. We are also exploring Best Practices models in the hopes of preventing injuries, saving lives, and assuring that . . . Nobody Is Left Behind.



Respondents from an on-line survey reported encountering problems during disasters or emergencies including:  

Here’s some of what survey respondents who “have been there” told us about how to be prepared and survive a disaster or an emergency.




For additional information on disaster and emergency planning for persons with disabilities, check out the websites for:

   The American Red Cross National Organization on Disability Federal  

   Emergency Management Agency National Center on Emergency  

   Preparedness for People with Disabilities and more resources listed on                  


A Call to Be Part of this Research: We want to hear from persons with mobility limitations who have experienced a disaster or an emergency. Please refer to the accessible on-line survey at www.nobodyleftbehind2.org and click on “Consumer Survey.”  These responses will remain anonymous and will help direct researchers, emergency managers, responders, and volunteers in the field how to better meet the needs of people with disabilities during a disaster or an emergency.

This three-year research study is funded by a grant to the Research and Training Center on Independent Living at the University of Kansas from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine TS#-0840. The research team consists of Glen W. White, principal investigator; Michael Fox, co-investigator; Cat Rooney, project coordinator; and Jennifer Rowland, research assistant.

For more information, contact Cat Rooney at (785) 864-3791 (phone), (785) 864-5063 (fax), catr@ku.edu, 1000 Sunnyside Ave. , Room 4089 Dole Center , Lawrence , KS 66045 -7555. Or see the Nobody Left Behind: Disaster Preparedness website at www.nobodyleftbehind2.org

Prepared from responses to the on-line consumer survey filled out by persons with mobility limitations who have experienced a disaster or an emergency and by Cindy Higgins and Cat Rooney. The survey is listed on the website cited above under “Consumer Survey.” 2004