Disaster: preparedness, impacts & building resilience

West, Caryn (2019) Disaster: preparedness, impacts & building resilience. In: [Presented at the Hyogo Earthquake Memorial 21st Century Research Institute Symposium]. From: HEMRI 21: Hyogo Earthquake Memorial 21st Century Research Institute Symposium, 8 March 2019, Hyogo, Japan.

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Disaster risk reduction (DRR) includes all aspects of disaster management, preparedness and risk mitigation. Processes must be sustainable, and policies and activities must possess the sagacity for intelligent choices that reflect the future community needs. In essence DRR is the responsibility of all members in society, both public and private.

Often disasters are associated with natural hazards and the severity is assessed by how greatly the hazard impacts on a community/society and the surrounding environment. As global weather patterns intensify, communities have been subjected to a number of mega disasters that include hurricanes/cyclones, tornados, blizzards, tsunamis and flooding. The severity of such events has highlighted the importance of DRR in the face of potential threats and should encourage communities to assess the choices they make regarding lifestyle and the environment and the action responses required. DRR = choices + action which either increases resilience or adds to the vulnerability of a community.

Whilst many people will find shelter with friends and family, there are a number of residents that require emergency shelter. With this in mind predetermined areas of shelter are activated when required. The logistics of providing shelter and amenities in situations such as this are of grand proportions and often what is lacking is the provision of any type of medical services. Some evacuees will arrive with known medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, and glaucoma) the onset of adversity will not void their conditions, in fact it can often exacerbate the symptoms. Other evacuees may have mental health issue that require medication which again maybe exacerbated by the situation and many men, women and children will simply be anxious. What is historically clear is that a large percentage of evacuees will require assistance of some sort.

We propose that healthcare students, specifically trained to assist in shelters could provide a valuable service for the community, help decrease the overload on healthcare facilities, and potentially avert health related events particularly in already vulnerable individuals.

Item ID: 57677
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
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Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2019 00:49
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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