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Abstract

Background Global warming is predicted to increase the number and severity of extreme weather events. (IPCC 2007) But we can lessen the effects of these disasters. “Critically important will be factors that directly shape the health of populations such as education, health care, public health prevention and infrastructure.” (IPCC 2007) A comprehensive approach to disaster risk reduction (DRR) has been proposed for climate change adaptation. (Thomalla 2006) DRR is cost-effective. One dollar invested in DRR can save $2-10 in disaster response and recovery costs. (Mechler 2005) Disasters occur as a result of the combination of population exposure to a hazard; the conditions of vulnerability that are present; and insufficient capacity to reduce or cope with the potential negative consequences. Discussion By reducing human vulnerability to disasters, we can lessen—and at times even prevent—their impact. Vulnerability may be lessened by: 1) reducing human exposures to the hazard by a reduction of human vulnerability, 2) lessening human susceptibility to the hazard, and 3) building resilience to the impact of the hazard. (Keim 2008) Public health disasters are prevented when populations are protected from exposure to the hazard. Public awareness and education can be used to promote a “culture of prevention” and to encourage local prevention activities. Public health disasters may also be mitigated through both structural and social measures undertaken to limit a health hazard's adverse impact. (IPCC 2007) Community-level public health can play an important part in lessening human vulnerability to climate-related disasters through promotion of “healthy people, healthy homes and healthy, disaster resilience communities.” (Srinivasan 2003)
Abstracts – 17th World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine s45
May 2011 Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
mental-readiness skills and that this fact has often separated
those who win a gold medal from those who do not. In recent
years, this research has been extended to other occupations,
including the field of surgery, policing, and now disaster-emer-
gency-response, and similar results were found. For example, in
the study entitled “Gold Medal Policing: Mental Readiness and
Performance Excellence” (McDonald, 2006), peak-performing
police officers demonstrated excellent technical and physical
skills but excelled in mental readiness skills. Traditionally, the
focus of most core-competencies has been on the technical and
physical skills necessary to perform the duties. Given what we
now know about the significance of mental-readiness skills, we
can specifically develop and formally recognize these skills.
That is, in addition to seeking the technical and physical skills
required of a job, particular emphasis is places on refining the
mental skills that ultimately makes the difference between sat-
isfactory performance and peak performance. The goal of any
field-training, is to produce a competent, independent, func-
tioning frontline-responder. Such a responder will demonstrate
concrete, observable “performance indicators.” Current research
on peak performers has been integrated into developing com-
prehensive performance indicators. This outcome can benefit
the recruitment, selection, training and evaluation of profes-
sions seeking to enter into the unique world of disaster emer-
gency medicine.
Prehosp D isaster Med 2011;26(Suppl. 1):s44–s45
doi:10.1017/S10 49023X11001543
(A157) Interprofessional Education as a Vehicle to Instill
Teamwork Mentality for Disaster Preparedness and
Response in Healthcare Professional Students
S. Mackintosh,1 D. Mcclure2
1. Interprofessional Education, Pomona, United States of America
2. College Of Veterinary Medicine, Pomona, United States of America
There is a crucial need for teamwork in disaster management.
Gaps in collaborative efforts resulted in significant loss of life
and property during recent disasters. Such losses could have
been minimized with enhanced teamwork. Unfortunately,
the current US healthcare system fosters a fractured structure
where health professions work in isolated silos. While coordi-
nated disaster management has done much to overcome this,
the silo mentality still inhibits maximal achievement toward
the four phases of emergency and disaster preparedness and
response. Since 2007, Western University of Health Sciences
(Western U) has embarked upon an initiative focusing upon the
concept of patient-centered, collaborative care in students from
the beginning of the clinical education process. The intent of
the program is to instill in all students non-technical competen-
cies that promote teamwork such as communication, collabora-
tion, and understanding scope of practice. The long term vision
is to develop a three phase program (case based, team train-
ing and clinical experience) that will take the student through
an awareness level to an application level of the competencies.
The second phase of the program utilizes the TeamSTEPPS®
training to instill these competencies in students. The appli-
cation and assessment of the teaching points will be through
community and patient safety exercises that include topics such
as disaster preparedness and response. In conjunction with the
TeamSTEPPS® training, the students from the nine profes-
sional programs (DO, PA, PT, PharmD, Graduate Nursing, Vet
Med, Dental, Podiatry, and Optometry) will also be exposed
to principles and practices of disaster response. By intensify-
ing teamwork principles as the basis of disaster preparedness,
the response pool for disaster response will be amplified, and
future healthcare practitioners will be more aware of teamwork
strategies necessary in a disaster setting. The intent of this pre-
sentation is to introduce this academic model including early
outcome data.
Prehosp D isaster Med 2011;26(Suppl. 1):s45
doi:10.1017/S104902 3X11001555
(A158) Preventing Disasters: Public Health Vulnerability
Reduction as a Sustainable Adaptation to Climate Change
M. Keim
National Center for Environmental Health, 30303, United States of
America
Background: Global warming is predicted to increase the num-
ber and severity of extreme weather events. (IPCC 2007) But
we can lessen the effects of these disasters. “Critically important
will be factors that directly shape the health of populations such
as education, health care, public health prevention and infra-
structure.” (IPCC 2007) A comprehensive approach to disas-
ter risk reduction (DRR) has been proposed for climate change
adaptation. (Thomalla 2006) DRR is cost-effective. One dollar
invested in DRR can save $2-10 in disaster response and recov-
ery costs. (Mechler 2005) Disasters occur as a result of the com-
bination of population exposure to a hazard; the conditions of
vulnerability that are present; and insufficient capacity to reduce
or cope with the potential negative consequences.
Discussion: By reducing human vulnerability to disasters, we can
lessen—and at times even prevent—their impact. Vulnerability
may be lessened by: 1) reducing human exposures to the hazard
by a reduction of human vulnerability, 2) lessening human sus-
ceptibility to the hazard, and 3) building resilience to the impact
of the hazard. (Keim 2008) Public health disasters are prevented
when populations are protected from exposure to the hazard.
Public awareness and education can be used to promote a “culture
of prevention” and to encourage local prevention activities. Public
health disasters may also be mitigated through both structural
and social measures undertaken to limit a health hazard’s adverse
impact. (IPCC 2007) Community-level public health can play an
important part in lessening human vulnerability to climate-related
disasters through promotion of “healthy people, healthy homes
and healthy, disaster resilience communities.” (Srinivasan 2003)
Prehosp D isaster Med 2011;26(Suppl. 1):s45
doi:10.1017/S10 49023X11001567
(A159) Core Competencies for Emergency Preparedness
Education for Health Profession Schools
D. Markenson,1 M. Reilly2
1. Center for Disaster Medicine, New York, United States of America
2. School of Health Sciences and Practice, New York, United States of
America
Background: The possibility of natural disasters and public
health emergencies coupled with the possibility of terrorism
clearly support the need to incorporate emergency preparedness
https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049023X11001567
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Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review Recent changes in our planetary climate have and will continue to challenge historical knowledge and risk assumptions for weather-related disasters. While the public health community is rapidly working to develop epidemiological approaches and tools to mitigate and adapt to these weather-related disasters, recent high-profile events have exposed gaps in knowledge and response efforts. Limited work has been done to assess the climate readiness of the local public health and healthcare community as it pertains to local response planning and adaptation measures in the event of a weather-related disaster. The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature related to climate change, weather-related disasters, and population health approaches to adapt to climate-related changes in weather-related disasters at the local level. We highlight a brief case study to illustrate an example of a local approach to adaptation planning in a coastal community. Recent Findings Few studies have put forth quantitative disaster epidemiology tools to aid public health officials in preparing for and responding to these weather-related disaster events. There is a general lack of understanding within the public health community about the epidemiological tools which are available to assist local communities in their preparation for, response to, and recovery from weather-related disasters. Summary Cities around the nation are already working to assess their vulnerability and resilience to weather-related disasters by including climate change in emergency preparedness plans and developing adaptation strategies, as well as equipping local hospitals, health departments and other critical public health systems with climate information. But more work is needed and public health funding is lagging to support local and state-level efforts in preparing for and adapting to weather-related disasters in the context of a changing climate. Our population health disaster preparedness programs need to be adapted to address the increasing risks to local public health resulting from our changing climate.
Article
Full-text available
Use of communication technologies for disaster risk management has brought players together with the aim of avoiding the effects of these phenomena on global public health. This paper analyzes discursive explanations about the use of these technologies in São Paulo, Brazil, given by specialists, managers and volunteers. The results show that informal actions reduce the time taken to issue warnings in chaotic situations; risk communication, although polarized, may operate jointly as a multiple network; and flexible technologies may be adapted to adverse situations and transported to different locations, to meet the demands from the government and civil society. However, are these communication practices based on prevention? To answer the question, we propose that disaster prevention based on harm reduction strategies may be an alternative for those engaged in preventive practices.
Article
Full-text available
Use of communication technologies for disaster risk management has brought players together with the aim of avoiding the effects of these phenomena on global public health. This paper analyzes discursive explanations about the use of these technologies in São Paulo, Brazil, given by specialists, managers and volunteers. The results show that informal actions reduce the time taken to issue warnings in chaotic situations; risk communication, although polarized, may operate jointly as a multiple network; and flexible technologies may be adapted to adverse situations and transported to different locations, to meet the demands from the government and civil society. However, are these communication practices based on prevention? To answer the question, we propose that disaster prevention based on harm reduction strategies may be an alternative for those engaged in preventive practices.
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