Home Emergency Preparedness Guide
In the United States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the federal government agency responsible for emergency preparedness and response. FEMA helps state and local organizations prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, public law 93-288 (the Stafford Act, 1988), the President is authorized to direct federal agencies to provide emergency assistance to save lives and protect property, public health, and safety in emergencies. The Federal Response Plan developed by FEMA in the early 1990s is the operational blueprint for the implementation of the Stafford Act in responding to all disasters and emergencies. The plan is a cooperative agreement signed by all 26 federal agencies and the American Red Cross for providing services when there is a need for federal response assistance following any type of disaster or emergency. The plan outlines a problem-oriented or functional approach to...
The various levels of personal protection are levels A through D. Level A attire fully encapsulating chemical-resistant suit and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) is recommended when the highest level of eye, mucous membrane, skin, and respiratory protection is needed. Lower levels of protection include level B (splash protection with chemical-resistant clothing and a SCBA) and level C (splash protection with chemical-resistant clothing and a full-faced air-purifying respirator). Level D protection is a standard work uniform and includes firefighter bunker gear. Military mission-oriented protective posture (MOPP) level IV gear, comprised of an air-purifying respirator, protective mask, hood, charcoal-impregnated suit, and butyl rubber gloves and boots, affords effective protection against the biochemical weapons of mass destruction.
The hospital may also interact with utility companies, the military, the local American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Disaster Medical System, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during a disaster.
Geological processes are slow but inexorable. Without ever using the term evolution, he conceived the slow changing of species unfortunately, his vision would degenerate into caricature in the hands of some of his successors. In particular, he realized that the 3000 years that separate us from Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire's Egyptian mummies are negligible in comparison with geological time. But Lamarck did not accept the idea that species might become extinct. According to him, they are gradually transformed by direct descent, or even (for those species that have apparently disappeared today) still survive in unexplored regions of the globe. His German contemporary Blumenbach (1752-1840) took a significant step in proposing that the two concepts of vanished species and distinct epochs in Nature should be combined.7 He envisaged a long succession of periods, characterized by distinct faunas eliminated one after the other by climatically induced global catastrophes.
Being relentlessly honest with yourself under these circumstances is anything but easy. Acknowledging to yourself that you may have done something wrong may seem self-destructive, indulging a tendency to beat yourself up when you need all your survival skills to rescue your reputation and career. But holding as firmly as possible to the reality of what actually happened not what the flattering and self-justifying revisionism of memory can create in place of the unadorned
Guatemala had been the scene of many natural disasters in the past, and so it had an Emergency Plan in place to deal with such events. This Plan proved to be invaluable, and it could be used as a model for other disaster-prone areas. At the first warning of the earthquake, the Plan went into action, and all electricity in the capital was shut down this action probably prevented many fires. However, an electrical generator at INCAP, used to ensure that fragile research projects would not be affected by the whims of an unreliable public electricity system, remained running and unfortunately a major fire resulted, destroying valuable research projects as well as the superb research library.
The research plan was to test the hypothesis presented by Prince in 1920 that a disaster would stimulate change. The major research question was Is the level of living increased following a disaster The level of living was defined as a composite score of culturally appropriate material goods wages or income, found or not found in the households over a five-year period of time. The amount of damage to the dwelling as well as the amount and type of aid received were also figured within the index of the level of living of each household. Numerous research strategies were used to build a case study of how a nation coped and recovered from a devastating national disaster. The following research strategies were used in the study a 1,400 random household survey with three waves of interviewing ethnographies, including community inventories, of each research site in-depth interviews of relief agency leaders and collection of life histories and narratives of the earthquake.
The case study that will be described is the 1976 Guatemala earthquake, as I, Glittenberg, was a Co-Principal Investigator along with Frederick L. Bates, a rural sociologist, Principal Investigator, and Timothy Farrell, also an anthropologist and a Co-Principal Investigator. The study was funded for over 1 million dollars in 1977 and extended through 1982. Following the termination of the NSF study little formal work was done due to the civil war that was growing in intensity, especially in the highland research sites. I returned to selected sites to update my findings on three occasions, 1987, 1992, and 1998. The official title of the NSF Study was A Longitudinal and Cross-Cultural Study of the Post Impact Phases of a Major National Disaster, 1977-82. The study was housed at the Instituto Nutricion de Centro America y Panama (INCAP) in Guatemala City, the University of Georgia (Bates), and the University of Colorado (Glittenberg).
Other issues included difficulties trusting others, feelings of inadequacy, dysfunctional eating, and alcohol use. During initial sessions, Briana's therapist also asked questions about family and relationship interaction patterns, paying special attention to shoulds and beliefs that appeared related to gender dynamics in her family, friendships, and school experiences. When the therapist (Jean) inquired about the presence of past trauma or victimization, which is one aspect of gender-role analysis, Briana reluctantly revealed being the target of sexualized comments during her high school and college years and an unwanted sexual experience during her second year in college. After inquiring further about these experiences, Jean hypothesized that Briana coped with these unresolved events by minimizing the significance of these events. Her use of alcohol, eating issues, and her anxieties represented survival skills related to Briana's efforts to cope with events that might be...
Chaff L Emergency preparedness, in Safety Guide for Health Care Institutions, 5th ed. Chicago, American Hospital Publishing, 1994. 10. Callum JR, Dinerman NM Disaster preparedness, in Sheehy S (ed) Emergency Nursing Principles and Practice, 3d ed. St. Louis, Mosby, 1992. 27. Auf der Heide E Community hospital and medical disaster planning guidelines, in ACEP Handbook Disaster Preparedness. Dallas, American College of Emergency Physicians, 1993. 40. Noji EK, Sivertson KT Injury prevention in natural disasters A theoretical framework. Disasters 11 290, 1987. 69. Roth PB Status of a national disaster medical response. J Am Med Assoc 266 1266, 1991. 70. Roth PB, Vogel A, Key G, et al The St. Croix disaster and the National Disaster Medical System. Ann Emerg Med 20 391, 1991.
PTSD is an emotional and behavioural syndrome following a traumatic event in the family or outside it. In the family setting, it is the result of traumas such as physical or sexual abuse, or the loss of a parent. Outside the family, it is connected with traffic accidents, natural disasters, war or terror. In childhood PTSD, the person's subjective experience of the event is at least as important as any objective characteristics of the trauma 34 .
The National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) is a federally coordinated initiative designed to augment the emergency medical response capability of the United States in the event of a catastrophic disaster.69 This system is a cooperative program of four federal government agencies the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services, FEMA, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The NdMs provides an interstate medical mutual-aid system linking federal, state, and local agencies and private-sector institutions to address medical care needs in a catastrophic disaster. The program was designed to supplement the activities of state and local governments during a massive civil disaster and to supplement the military medical care system in the event of an overseas conventional conflict. The NDMS contains a medical response element to provide organized aid to a disaster-affected area, an evacuation system, and a network of precommitted hospital beds throughout the United...
Disasters, no doubt, have always been part of human history, long before literate societies emerged to record them, yet, in the 21st century they have become increasingly significant in shaping human societies. The ever-increasing global population tends to cluster around points of geophysical niches prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, flooding, and droughts. And, the ever-increasing industrial use of energy, much of it non-renewable, promotes destruction of vital resources leading to potential catastrophes, such as global warming. The vulnerability of marginalized populations, such as refugees and migrants, has increased as many people are separated from long-standing socio-cultural support systems. Indeed, massive and rapid global communication and transportation capabilities make us, as a human village, more urgently in need of understanding disasters. Recognizing the importance and urgency of dealing with disasters whereever they occur, the United...
Of published studies examining immune levels immediately after traumatic events necessitates viewing this conclusion with caution. Longer term follow-up of victims indicates that stress stemming from both human-caused and natural disasters appears to be associated with fewer cells and decreased functional efficacy of a wide range of immune measures. Immune system changes associated with human-caused disasters appear to be particularly persistent. Altered immune activity was found as many as 6 years after a nuclear accident in residents of Three Mile Island. Residents had greater numbers of neutrophils, but fewer B lymphocytes, cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and NK cells than did controls. In addition, residents displayed higher antibody titers to herpes simplex virus than controls, suggesting downregulation of cellular immunocompetence. The longest follow-up of a naturalistic disaster indicated that hurricane victims had significantly lower NK activity than laboratory controls 2 years after...
Although researchers have long been interested in children's responses to natural disasters, domestic violence, abuse, and loss associated with war (Pelcovitz & Kaplan, 1996), they have only recently explored posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as an outcome of these experiences. While adult PTSD, which was officially recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Third Edition (DSM-III American Psychiatric Association, 1980), shares some symptoms with child PTSD, researchers have discovered a unique set of age-specific responses to trauma that characterize this disorder in children. Thus, age-sensitive symptoms are included in both the DSM-III and DSM-IV (APA, 1994) diagnostic criteria for PTSD (Pelcovitz & Kaplan, 1996).
Rutty41 discovered through hermeneutic inquiries that nursing brings to the work of the coroner the encompassing roles of holistic family caregiver, researcher, manager, investigator, educator, health promoter, pathology assistant, and forensic nurse clinician. The nurse also brings to the role knowledge, clinical skills,and holistic experience in clinical care intervention, anatomy, and physiology psychology, sociology, health studies, and people skills family dynamics growth and development and cultural language interaction. The range of responsibilities practiced by nurses includes attending death scenes, photography, anthropology, fingerprinting, computerized facial reconstruction, and management of multidisciplinary forensic teams. As advocates for the deceased and family, nurses handle the issues of death certification, victim support, family notification, survivor grief resolution, media management, criminal proceedings, and probate. Nurse coroners believe they are making a...
These are critical public-policy questions that will have to be addressed as anti-aging interventions become available. On the other hand, they are not problems that should guide the progress of scientific work. In practice, medicine is not likely to police anti-aging interventions for social policy reasons unless it becomes clear that the social problems created by their availability as elective medical services are severe enough to compare with public health emergencies. According to some critics, such crises are not unforeseeable in a long-lived society (Hayflick). But until it is clearer that medicine should steer by social justice as well as patient welfare, the advocates argue complicity that with these social problems is not likely to stand in the way of anti-aging medicine.
Hospital disaster planners must plan for those disasters most likely to occur in their community. 27 Hospitals in Hawaii and along the Gulf coast of the United States should plan for hurricanes,2829 those in California should plan for earthquakes,30313 3 and 34 and those near chemical industries should have facilities for decontamination. Hospitals located near facilities using large amounts of hazardous materials are required by Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act to participate in local emergency planning committees.35 Accidents at large transportation facilities, such as airports and harbors, and at festivals, stadiums, and amusement parks can generate large numbers of casualties.36 3 ,38 and39 Various types of disasters are characterized by specific morbidity and mortality rate patterns, and thus health care requirements.40 Earthquakes cause many deaths and severe injuries.4 42 and 43 Hurricanes cause primarily property damage, with low numbers of deaths...
Medical care for mass gatherings represents an intersection of emergency medicine with public health and public safety requiring working talents in business, logistics, disaster preparedness, telecommunications, and public relations. The ingredients for success lie in understanding the health and medical care of populations through systems.
A second major class of famine comprises those precipitated or triggered by declared war or armed insurgency, leading to a siege or food blockade by a foreign power (e.g., Allied blockade of Germany in 1915-18 Nazi blockade of Holland precipitating the Dutch Winter Famine of 1944-45, and the Nazi siege of Lenningrad in 1942-44) or, as occurring more in recent years, severe civil war that disrupts normal markets as well as emergency food delivery systems (e.g., the Somalian civil war and famine of 1991-92). Armed conflict can incapacitate or destroy a country's ability to govern, develop, produce and feed itself domestically or through food aid, as scores of people become displaced, destitute, starve and die from severe malnutrition and epidemic illness. The
In general, the data of the past two decades do not suggest that older adults are at greater risk than younger adults for negative psychosocial outcome following exposure to natural disasters. There is simply insufficient evidence to conclude that disaster causes more negative psychosocial consequences in older adults. Empirically supported therapies that apply to younger groups have applicability to older groups as well. These involve exposure and assimilation techniques within the context of a supportive and collaborative therapeutic relationship. In this way memories are modified or transformed. Often, factors related specifically to aging, mourning for losses, giving meaning to experiences, reestablishing self-coherence and self-continuity, achieve ego integration, and culture and social support are integrated also.
The escalation in crises and numbers affected since the early 1990s has had a dramatic impact on the nutrition and health of refugees. The number of people affected by natural disasters increased from 50 million in 1980 to 250 million in 2000. Similarly, approximately 30 million people were affected by conflict each year during the 1990s in more than 60 countries. The number of refugees has steadily increased from approximately 5 million in 1980 to a peak of more than 20 million in 1994, with a slow decline by 2003 to approximately 10.4 million. This is primarily due to the fact that more refugees are repatriating than are being forced to leave their countries, and new refugee flows have declined. The large numbers of repatriated refugees from Afghanistan, Angola, and Sierra Leone have contributed to the reduction in the number of refugees. In addition to the large numbers of refugees, in 2003 UNHCR assisted approximately 5.8 million of the estimated 20-25 million IDPs worldwide.
The 1970s were a period of intense activity, during which enterotoxins were examined in great detail. The initial surge came from the need to develop more effective vaccines to control outbreaks of cholera in areas where it was (and still is) endemic or in areas where natural disasters or the ravages of war create conditions conducive to the spread of the disease. Attention was focused on the enterotoxin discovered by De in 1953. This led to the evolution of the currently widely held view that cholera toxin acts by biochemical perturbation of transport processes in epithelial cells of the small intestine giving rise to a cAMP-mediated watery diarrhea. This became the paradigm used to explain other toxin-mediated water diarrheas.
Remember to prepare for everyone in the home. When you are putting together a plan to prepare in the case of an emergency, it is very important to remember to plan for not only yourself and your children, but also for your family pets and any guests who could potentially be with you at the time of the emergency.