Updated: 11:53 PM Oct 12, 2009
Posted: 11:18 PM Oct 12, 2009
Reporter: Heather Biance
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
3.5 million people are living with a disability in Florida and state Emergency Management workers are making sure their needs stay a top priority when a disaster hits.
They say it’s not if a disaster is going to hit, it’s when.
And for folks like JR Harding, who rely on these two wheels to get around, creating a disaster plan for himself and his family is vital.
Harding has been in a wheelchair since 1983 but he says having a physical impairment is no excuse not to be prepared.
“We’ve been hearing get a plan, get a plan. And those of us with special needs have an additional responsibility to have our act together, because we are complicated,” says Tallahassee resident JR Harding, Ed.D, who’s a paraplegic.
And it’s up to Chip Wilson, the statewide disability coordinator for Florida’s Emergency Management to make sure that folks with special needs are not just an afterthought.
“To make sure that the government knows their responsibilities and the individuals know their rights and responsibilities as well,” says Florida’s Disability Coordinator Chip Wilson.
“I think that each of us have responsibilities as good citizens and that we should be self reliant as high as possible and only then should we ask the government for help,” says JR Harding.
Wilson says the state has made huge strides in improving its efforts to assist the disabled and although it’s not perfect, it’s a roll in the right direction.
For the latest information and if you’d like to make your disaster plan, go to: http://floridadisaster.org/
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