This week I came home to New Orleans and attended the International Disaster Conference. One of the vendors I found is focused on something that should be a concern for every community - knowing where to find your at-risk populations -- those vulnerable to be left behind in a disaster.
AtRisk Registry arose out of the Katrina disaster and provides a mechanism for managing the physical location and medical status of anyone with medical, mobility or special needs. This is a topic I've discussed during recent business continuity planning activities, and one that has arisen during fires in my own community.
So I ask, if you have responsibilities for disaster preparedness, would you quickly and easily know where to locate and get the right kind of assistance and/or transportation to:
- hospice, home care and other home-bound patients
- seniors or others with mobility limitations
- individuals with disabilities
- children or adults with special needs
Not knowing creates added risk that these individuals would need care at a higher level, be harmed or possibly left behind in a disaster.