Disability Rights NC will hold a community forum to hear from people with disabilities about the lack of services and support at emergency shelters during and after Hurricane Florence. Staff with the organization monitored 26 disaster shelters across Eastern North Carolina to determine if people with disabilities received adequate care and treatment. Their report, The Storm after the Storm, showed that some shelters were not equipped to handle people with disabilities and that more training is needed for shelter managers, staff and volunteers. Director of investigations and monitoring Cas Shearin said there were some instances of mistreatment and demeaning comments made to individuals with disabilities.
“Many of these shelter staff move around from disaster to disaster, and that’s an incredible service they provide. At the same time, there can be compassion fatigue.”
Disability Rights NC will hold the community forum at Christ Church in New Bern this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“One way that we could potentially have a great effect from the outcomes of this storm is to provide a public forum where people with disabilities could come and speak about their stories related to the disaster, what their needs were, any needs that were unmet, and that we would gather those stories in order to affect progress and change moving forward.”