Hurricane Dorian’s devastating trajectory over the Northwest Bahamas was the most recent Atlantic storm to call attention to the catastrophic impact of climate change. Although disasters create adversities for all members of the affected population, people with disabilities and special medical needs are disproportionately challenged by such events and are more vulnerable to the conditions they create. This point-counterpoint series highlights the hardships faced by individuals living with spinal cord injury (SCI) when disasters strike. This commentary focuses on the time-urgent need to improve storm readiness among at-risk individuals living with SCI before the start of the upcoming hurricane season. We review the evidence indicating that tropical cyclones are becoming increasingly destructive in the era of climate change and consider how this trend may magnify the difficulties that those with SCI may experience before, during, and in the aftermath of a hurricane. We then review the ways in which health professionals caring for individuals with SCI can help them better prepare for hurricanes while also enhancing their own readiness to provide care during and after an extreme storm.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology