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President of COD-NL, Jerry Weir, says the new tools were developed in response to severe weather situations people in the province faced. Coalition of Persons with Disabilities - Newfoundland and Labrador, along with the provincial government, released an emergency preparedness kit and guide Wednesday.
Weir said the new kit and guide were developed after the province experienced severe weather, such as last January's power outage. The INCLUSIVE PREPAREDNESS CENTER (IPC) works to include everyone in emergency planning, response and recovery -- particularly those more vulnerable to widespread disasters and fires in the home. Since 2007, the OCHA Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) has prioritized emergency response preparedness as one of its key functions. The minimum preparedness actions (MPA) cover hazard and risk analysis, operational frameworks (contingency planning, information management, simulation and resource mobilization) and legal frameworks (institutional and disaster risk management acts, etc.). National-level implementation based on lessons learned, contingency planning and simulation exercises.
National-level information management (IM) strategy development, and IM training and data preparedness.
GOVERNMENT LED AT REGIONAL AND NATIONAL LEVELS FOR SUSTAINABILITY: Using Governments as the entry point for emergency preparedness and response has also proven a more effective way to harness the UN system into joint and common action. INTEGRATED AND COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO PREPAREDNESS: Minimum preparedness actions are important, but they alone cannot effectively reduce the impacts of disasters. In short, the MPA covers operational preparedness and institutional and legal preparedness.
The requirements for constructing an exterior ramp for a private residence are fairly clear, in part because the ADAAG and the ANSI standards are pretty much the same.
OCHA ROSA has actively promoted and supported countries to implement a minimum package of preparedness actions by providing multi-faceted support at the regional level, in collaboration with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), and at the national level with their Member States and international cooperating partners. This approach helps to build greater political will within the region to prioritize disaster risk reduction in national budgeting and planning priorities. It also facilitates continuous dialogue among humanitarian actors and the technological and scientific communities to monitor emerging disasters and plan for possible impacts in all key sectors. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a technical group that compiles a list of standards dealing with numerous requirements for construction and alterations in the built environment.


Under civil rights law (specifically the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA), there is a separate set of technical requirements known as the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG) that are used to achieve a specific level of accessibility for any element or space. Further, although the ADA doesn’t apply to single family residential dwellings, local building codes most definitely apply. This individual will tell you that the ramp will need handrails, a certain slope, edge protection (so someone won’t roll off the side), landing areas at the top and bottom of each ramp, a firm and slip resistant surface, the specific widths and maneuvering spaces.
While some may be able to afford this construction, many may need some type of financial assistance.
The fully consultative nature of the process will get significant buy?in from the agencies. Additionally, without the prevention and mitigation efforts agencies are supposed to support and coordinate, countries will continually be faced with disasters that are known, seasonal and cyclical in nature, and which therefore could be avoided. The ADAAG is not a set of codes; rather, they are guidelines that, by law, must be followed. In summary, if the residential ramp is not intended for public use, ANSI standards and local building codes should be followed. This is just a general overview of exterior ramp requirements; each element has additional detail associated with it. For that matter, design professionals (engineers, architects, space planners) may not be as knowledgeable as you might think regarding accessibility requirements. In my travels throughout the state, however, I’ve seen entirely too many ramps that were constructed improperly, and they were not only out of compliance but were unsafe and unsightly as well. Also, the increasing frequency of these disasters continues to deepen and compound vulnerability in the region annually in a vicious cycle. Many of the technical requirements associated with the ADAAG and the ANSI standards are identical. For example, handrails have specific requirements for their mounting height, the type of extensions required and the gripping surface. When hiring any professional, you should do a little homework before you sign a contract for services. If you are among those who either use or need accessible access to their home, take a little extra time and effort and find out who can provide you with exactly what you need, as well as what you deserve.


There are two perspectives that need to be considered when constructing or altering an element, or space, to make it accessible. Getting some references from friends or relatives is always a good idea to help you identify competent professionals. Most cities, towns and county governments receive federal funds that can be used for housing rehabilitation. One has to do with building code requirements, while the other is about compliance with a civil rights law. As a result, it is important that the design professional or contractor working on the job know the differences. If you are a homeowner contemplating doing your own work, you also need to assess your own abilities. What New Castle County permits or requires, for example, might be a little different from that of, say, the city of Wilmington.
It may be nice to do your own home improvement project, either for your personal satisfaction or just to save money, but you don’t want to get in over your head. Usually there is a government office set up to run such rehab programs, so you might want to find out who operates this activity in your area and see if you qualify for assistance.
There are also a number of privately funded organizations out in the community that help with such accessibility matters.
Groups that deal with disability issues may be able to assist you themselves, or could at least steer you to those agencies that may be able to provide some level of assistance. These specialists probably know more about this discipline than most and there are several in this area that really know their specialty.



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