When disasters strike, people with disabilities are often among the worst affected and the last to receive help.
They may miss out on warnings or information because they can’t see, hear or understand them. They may be unable to escape quickly from danger. And vital emergency aid like shelters or food distribution may be too far away, or difficult to access for a person with a disability.
CBM responds immediately to emergencies worldwide, providing life-saving aid to people with disabilities or injuries and working to rebuild lives and communities.
When disaster strikes, people with disabilities are often among the most affected because:
Emergency situations also often put people at greater risk of disability. For every person that dies during a disaster, it is estimated that three people sustain an injury, many causing long-term disabilities. Many people may also experience mental health problems, which can result in long term disability if they do not receive the support they need.
Immediately after a disaster strikes, our Emergency Response specialists and local partners work together to identify people with disabilities who have been affected and meet their immediate needs of food, water, shelter and healthcare.
After the initial emergency response, we remain in the affected area to support, plan and develop long-term programmes to help rebuild lives and communities into the future.
Being prepared saves lives, so CBM also works with communities and disabled people’s organisations to help ensure that people with disabilities are involved in planning an inclusive response if disasters strike.
CBM has over 100 years experience of providing relief and recovery for people living with or at risk of disability, at times of crisis. An important part of our work is training and supporting other organisations who provide emergency aid to make sure that disabled people are not excluded. As part of the Age and Disability Capacity Programme (ADCAP) consortium, we developed the ground-breaking Humanitarian Inclusion Standards for Older People and People with Disabilities and other resources (open link in new tab). These standards help ensure that organisations providing humanitarian relief are more inclusive in their work, while CBM’s mobile app, the Humanitarian Hands-on Tool (HHOT) (open link in new tab). is a practical tool to help put the standards into practice.