Issues in the support and disaster preparedness of severely disabled children in affected areas

Soichiro Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Relative to their numbers, more than twice the number of disabled children fell victim to the Great East Japan Earthquake than did normal people. It was important to find out needs and provide support, as the needs of disabled children vulnerable to the disaster, such as a shortage of diapers of the right size for disabled children in the affected areas, were not given priority. In addition, the role of coordinators to spread word of who needed what and where, and linking this to specific support, was important. Regions and authorities need to determine how disabled children are to be evacuated in a disaster. Each household should prepare, as disaster prevention measures, their own private power generator and carry medical information for oral or other medicine. Each region should prepare, as a local disaster measure, welfare evacuation areas for disabled children. One thing that was felt acutely in this recent disaster is that disaster preparations and manuals need to be revised from the point of view of welfare, and that the most reliable people were those who, whether as assisters or the assisted, were involved with the disabled on a daily basis from before the disaster. The existence of disabled children as a familiar part of society, and supporting agencies networking based around the children as part of normal operations, plays a very large part. Raising children as part of their local communities is the biggest factor in saving them from disasters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-213
Number of pages5
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar


  • Private power generator
  • Severe motor and intellectual disabilities
  • The Great East Japan Earthquake
  • Vulnerable groups
  • Welfare evacuation area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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