emergency preparednessOn the heels of a busy hurricane season, with an uncertain pandemic forecast heading into winter, United Spinal Association is implementing an emergency preparedness campaign to help people with SCI/D address the devastating effects and risks associated with natural and human-caused disasters.

United Spinal’s Ready to Roll initiative is a comprehensive effort to enhance the independence and wellbeing of wheelchair users with information and checklists that can aid in unexpected disasters and emergencies. In addition to helping members of the SCI/D community, Ready to Roll aims to equip professionals, municipalities and local agencies to improve the service they provide to individuals with SCI/D by examining and adjusting their emergency procedures to consider the specific and crucial needs of our community.

“Whether it’s fires, hurricanes, floods or something else, disasters pose enhanced risks to people with spinal cord injuries,” says Abby Ross, United Spinal’s chief operating officer. “Coordinated, proactive planning can save lives. Sadly, time and again we’ve seen local governments and civic leaders lacking the knowledge and/or ability to help our community in these situations. Ready to Roll fills in the gaps in service and empowers the SCI/D community and the people in positions to help.”

The initiative will be rolled out in three phases over the next two years. The first phase — which is already underway — focuses on creating resources for individuals with SCI/D, their families and caregivers, while the second targets professionals who serve individuals with SCI/D, and the third focuses on outreach to municipalities, agencies and local governments.

For more, including helpful checklists, best practices and video and podcast resources, visit unitedspinal.org/ready-to-roll.