Saturday, March 19, 2011

Japan earthquake and tsunami hits the disabled the hardest

     I wanted to take a moment to put the plight of the disabled out front in this Natural Disaster.  A few sobering statistics:

  1. 22% of Japanese citizens are over 60 years of age
  2. 3/4 of all deaths in the United States Hurricane Katrina disaster were over 60
     These number by themselves are frightening but they are only painting a partial picture of the disabled community. The under 60 disabled person, a much harder figure to quantify in past disasters as then your looking at the numbers and trying to decide how many out of the numbers were healthy individuals. The people in skilled care facilities, the people on oxygen and ventilators The wheelchair bound person, or worse the powerchair person with dead batteries and no hope of knowing when they will get charged.
     Japan has 127 million people. 22% are over 60. And I'm going to guess this next percentage based on disability figures elsewhere, I'll say 1% are disabled and not in the overlapping over 60 group.  This means that 29.2 million disabled and elderly individuals are struggling, some of course more then others based on demographically where they are, but the number speaks for itself.
     This paints a macabre picture which wasn't exactly what I had in mind.  A disabled person needs to think about these "worst case scenarios." What would you do? How prepared are you? Do you have an emergency cash fund that is easy to get to? If your in a wheelchair just what would you do if your chair was damaged? There are numerous other and lots of more important questions you should be concerned with based on your situation or the situation of someone you love.
     I'm writing this to raise awareness of this segment of the population that is disproportionately suffering the most.


  1. I never thought of this. You'd think we would've been thinking about some of this stuff since the river is so close to our house. Gives you/me some stuff to think about, huh?

  2. Well between Katrina and Japan earthquake tsunami, in katrina there was lots of warning. Not enough warning to put a disaster plan into place, but enough to put one into effect.