(John Del Signore) New York City has an estimated 889,219 individuals with disabilities, making up 11% of the population, and as we saw during Hurricane Sandy, they're in dire straits during a natural disaster. Many disabled New Yorkers were dangerously stranded during and after the superstorm, trapped in their apartments with no electricity, no running water, no heat, or working elevators to let them in or out. Now a federal judge has confirmed the obvious: NYC is woefully unprepared to assist disabled residents during emergencies, and that's in violation of federal law.
"The city’s plans are inadequate to ensure that people with disabilities are able to evacuate before or during an emergency; they fail to provide sufficiently accessible shelters; and they do not sufficiently inform people with disabilities of the availability and location of accessible emergency services," judge Jesse M. Furman wrote in the 119-page decision, which also acknowledged the "herculean task," faced by the city and praised officials for doing an "outstanding job" in many ways.
Photo: Ander Dylan/Shutterstock