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Justice Dept Dings City's Evacuation Plan for Disabled

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Disability Rights Advocates allege that the city's emergency response plan fails to include the needs of the disabled. A lawsuit has been underway in federal court and the Department of Justice recently submitted a report to the judge supporting the advocates claims.

The report calls out the city for not knowing how many of its shelters and evacuation centers are accessible to the disabled.

It also criticized the early closure of MTA's access-a-ride service during Sandy leaving the disabled to try to evacuate on city buses with limited spaces for wheelchairs or on a subway system with few elevators.

The report says that despite the "obvious importance of accounting for the unique needs of individuals with disabilities," New York City's emergency plan fails to do so.

In a written statement, a city lawyer said it was disappointing that the DOJ took this action given the city's close coordination with the federal government before, during and after Sandy

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Comments [2]

cassandra floros from NYC

The solution is simple: administration must stop being wimps and RAISE TAXES to pay for necessary assets. NYC must buy all the Paratrasit vehicles needed to evacuate everyone with a disability before the next hurricane and also use the same vehicles to evacuate everyone who ignores the evacuation order and then realizes once the storm hits that the surge damages building circuit boards so that power will be out for weeks. By the way NPR reported that a survey after Sandy showed 71% of polled residents in the danger zone knew about the evacuation order but decided to stay put. MAKE Evacuation ORDERS MANDATORY and authorize NYPD to escort resident out if they fail to listen. The judge in the case realizes how difficult planning for NYC is (see his introduction from his ruling below) why cant all New Yorker's accept that if government is responsible to take care of all citizens then all residents must HELP PAY for this peace of mind
Text from the ruling with judge Furman's opening
JESSE M. FURMAN, United States District Judge:
INTRODUCTION
The task of planning for, and responding to, emergencies and disasters is one of the most important, and challenging, tasks any government faces. Emergencies can take many forms — from power outages, to hurricanes, to terrorist attacks — and a government, particularly a local . . .
the task of planning for, and responding to, emergencies and disasters is especially challenging in New York City, given, among other things, the size and density of the City’s
population, its island geography, and its large daily commuter and tourist populations. Given
those challenges, and what New York City has had to face in recent years, the City’s planning and response have been remarkable in many ways. In particular, the array and detail of its plans
for every imaginable kind of emergency is impressive; and the valor and sacrifice of those who have come to the aid of New Yorkers in times of emergency, from first responders to volunteers, have been nothing short of extraordinary. This lawsuit does not challenge those facts. Far from
it: In many respects, this lawsuit has confirmed them

Nov. 11 2013 06:57 AM
VMGillen from Staten Island

Our fair city has been very unfair to vulnerable populations throughout the tenure of the current administration. These problems have been known, and loudly decried, for quite some time! This is a pattern of behavior: NYC was called to the carpet for essentially giving developers a waiver for accessibility compliance for many, many years... which continues with the micro-units, for example. Perfect for the hipsters, so what's the problem? Feh.

May. 17 2013 07:53 AM

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