The cost to recover from a disaster has risen sharply because of the amount of technology that must be restored.
Nurses are increasingly getting involved in disaster planning, response, and recovery through their local health department or local government.
-Range in size
-Are expensive (lives affected, property lost/damaged)
-Developing countries experience disproportionate burden from natural disasters
***Types of disasters:
*****( Please refer to Box 14-1 TYPES OF DISASTERS, p. 249)
***There are ways to prevent or manage how people and their communities respond to disasters.
-Although the number of disasters worldwide continues to grow, the number of lives lost has decreased.
U.S. agencies, directives, and systems:
-U.S. Department of Homeland Security
-National Preparedness Guidelines
-National Response Plan
-National Incident Management System
-Public Health and Medical Preparedness and the National Health Security Strategy
Although natural disasters cannot be prevented, much can be done to prevent further increases in accidents, death, and destruction after impact.
Examples of HP2020 Objectives related to Disaster Mitigation are found on p. 251. These are the abbreviations uses for the objectives.
-EH = Environmental Health
-FS = Food Safety
-HC/HIT = Health Care and Health Information Technology
-IID = Immunization and Infectious Diseases
An emergency management term for reducing risks to people and property from natural hazards BEFORE they occur.
Protecting buildings and infrastructure from wind and water
Implementing non-structural measures i.e. land development restrictions ( Don’t build your house in a flood plane!)
Deterring terrorists and terrorism BEFORE they strike
Heightened inspection and improved surveillance and security operations ( Airports)
Public health and agricultural surveillance and testing
Organizing and participating:
-Mass vaccination campaigns to prevent, treat or contain disease (HP 2020 Objective: HC/HIT-12 Increase the proportion of crisis and emergency risk messages intended to protect the public’s health that demonstrate the use of best practices
1. Personal Preparedness
-Emergency Supplies Kit
-ARC and FEMA (American Red Cross & Federal Emergency Management Agency)
2. Professional Preparedness
-Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT)
3. Community Preparedness
-National Health Security Strategy ( NHSS)
-Disaster and Mass Casualty Exercises
Provide educational programs and materials regarding disasters specific to the area.
Organize disaster drills.
Provide an updated record of vulnerable populations within the community.
Review individual strategies.
-Emergency Support Functions
-National Incident Management System
-Response to Bioterrorism
-International Relief Efforts
-Psychological Stress of Disaster Workers
Understand what community resources are available
Often first responder:
-Case finding and referring
Depends on nurse’s experience, professional role in a community disaster plan, specialty training, and special interest
Often the hardest part of the disaster.
Occurs as all involved agencies pull together to restore the economic and civic life of the community.
Make referrals to mental health professionals.
Be alert for environmental hazards.
Assess dangers of live or dead animals.
Case finding and referral
Understand the emotional, physical and stressful effects of disasters on the affected communities
-Type, cause, and location
-Magnitude and extent of disaster
-Duration of disaster
-Amount of warning
Stress reactions in individuals
Stress reactions in the community ( p. 259)
-Heroic: characterized by exhausted medical care personnel who work uncessingly)
-Honeymoon: Characterized by sharing experiences and stories about their survival
Realizing that additional aid and reinforcements are no longer coming
The longest phase. The physical and emotional act of rebuilding toward a new normalcy.
People react to the same disaster in different ways, depending on their age, cultural background, health status, social support structure, and general ability to adapt to crises
Nurses working in shelters:
-Provide assessments and referrals.
-Meet health care needs, such as helping clients get prescription glasses, medications, first aid, and appropriate diet adjustments.
-Keep client records.
-Ensure emergency communications.
-Provide a safe environment.
Nurses make ideal shelter managers and team members because they are comfortable with dealing with aggregate health promotion, disease prevention, and emotional support
The nature of disasters will retain the element of unpredictability.
-That unpredictability and the medical and public health surge requirements in disaster make prevention and preparedness activities on the part of individuals and communities even more important.