How People With Disabilities Weather Natural Disasters

More than half a million people affected by Sudan floods

A woman wades through a submerged field after floods, brought by the strong rain, took place in Khartoum, Sudan 3 August 2020 [Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency]

The floods in Sudan have killed 102 people, injured 46 more and affected over 550,000 people in 17 of the country’s 18 states, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported.

“More than half a million people are affected by the floods in Sudan – the highest number of flood-affected people reported in the country in more than two decades,” OCHA indicated.

It added: “Some 102 people have died and 46 others have been injured, according to the latest figures from the government of Sudan. Thus far, 17 of Sudan’s 18 states are affected. Khartoum State is the worst affected, with more than 100,000 people in need of assistance.”

The UN organisation continued: “More than 500 square kilometres of land flooded in Khartoum, Al Gezira and White Nile States, and more than 100,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged.”

It warned that: “The situation could deteriorate over the coming days, with heavy rains forecast in Ethiopia and in several parts of Sudan. The rains are likely to increase water levels in the Blue Nile River, which are at the highest they have been in 100 years.”

The Sudanese government has declared a three-month national state of emergency to boost response efforts, stating that the government, UN agencies, NGOs and the Sudanese military are assisting thousands of people in affected areas…

How People With Disabilities Weather Natural Disasters

Casey Green, a high school history teacher in Natchitoches, Louisiana, saw her power flicker out Thursday, August 27, the morning Hurricane Laura hit as a Category 2 storm. “We got a direct hit,” says Green, who went outside to watch the eye of the storm pass over the house just outside town where she lives with her husband, and to look out for fallen trees blocking the driveway. “The first thing you have to consider is if you can leave,” Green says. So far, everything was clear, but that didn’t mean she’d be OK to wait things out without electricity.

Green has cerebral palsy, a non-progressive motor disorder, and with her condition comes additional considerations when deciding if and when to evacuate from the hurricanes the Bayou State is increasingly known for. “The biggest thing for me is driving,” she says. “I can drive and I have a car, but I tend not to drive very far.”

Green says she didn’t prepare a “go bag,” an emergency kit filled with necessities in case of evacuation, for Hurricane Laura. But she and her husband made sure to stock up on nonperishable food, water, and gas for their cars before the storm hit. Green laid out her medications in advance so she’d be ready to make a quick exit….

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