Healthcare

Power Outages, Communication Failures & Healthcare

by Daniel Rector -

After-action reviews highlight the successes and expose the failures of disaster preparedness and response efforts. Four significant events demonstrate how communities managed when power outages, communication failures, and healthcare concerns emerged in their aftermath. Unfortunately, these same issues will resurface in future disasters unless lessons are learned.

Monkeypox: A Public Health Update

by Mabel De Leo & Deborah Sateler -

The current monkeypox outbreak is different from historical outbreaks that remained endemic and rarely became international events. Now the situation is changing daily. This article explains what precautions are needed to prevent the spread and how new approaches should be implemented to tackle it.

Military Combat Skills for Civilian Disaster Response

by Lisa Nenno & Timothy Miller -

During their service, military personnel acquire a broad range of lifesaving skills that are critical when on the frontline during wartime. Effective medical triage is one of the skills needed during combat and any major disaster or catastrophic event. Partnering with tribal and other civilian stakeholders, military veterans provided a unique perspective and training experience during a national-level exercise.

There Was a Pandemic Strategy and Plan

by Robert C. Hutchinson -

Although it may not have been readily apparent in early 2020, the federal government did have a comprehensive national strategy and implementation plan for a pandemic threat. Despite having these resources and knowledge, the United States was still unprepared to effectively respond to COVID-19. This article points out the preparedness gaps and the urgency to close them before the next major public health threat.

Reduce Burnout & Increase Retention in Emergency Management

by Kesley Richardson -

Emergency management professionals are regularly tasked with high-stress responsibilities, including political pressure, life safety concerns, vulnerable infrastructure, and community vulnerabilities. Three ways to reduce the risk of burnout and increase retention efforts are described in this article: lead with care, invest in psychological support, and look at the schedule.

The Expanding Role of Tactical Medicine

by Ian Pleet -

Mass shootings have spurred agencies to shift from reactive to proactive measures to mitigate threats and their consequences. Tactical medicine plays a significant role in reducing deaths associated with active assailant incidents. This article explains how trained first responders with the correct equipment and the courage to use it can be on the scene, saving lives even before the attacker is subdued.

Responding Respectfully to People With Disabilities

by James Martin -

Emergency preparedness often involves preparing for a particular type of disaster. However, each disaster can affect people differently depending on their individual physical and mental abilities. This article helps emergency preparedness and response professionals address the needs of individuals with disabilities and access and functional needs and know how to respond respectfully and provide the best possible care.

Wanted: Mental Health Support for Disaster Trauma

by Ruth Baugher Palmer, Mary McNaughton-Cassill & Mary Schoenfeldt -

Disasters are often described in terms of the physical damages they incur. However, the significant impact on mental health, which can have even longer-term consequences, sometimes is not addressed until after the response phase of the disaster is complete. This article explains the importance of immediately and simultaneously addressing both the physical and psychological effects of an event.

Public Health Preparedness– Finding Its Path Forward

by Raphael M. Barishansky -

Public health preparedness has emerged and matured as a distinct discipline since the events of 9/11 and the subsequent Ameri-thrax attacks. Although, in the past, public health agencies were pushed to the forefront of various emergencies, the planning and infrastructure for public health emergency response were not funded and not in place until after 2001. This article describes the gaps that need to be addressed as the discipline continues to face public health emergencies worldwide.

Best Practice: Auxiliary Radios for Healthcare Facilities

by Ashleigh Holmes -

When an emergency or disaster occurs, healthcare facilities require reliable communications for ensuring the safety and well-being of those in their care. The New York City Emergency Management Department has revamped its City’s emergency radio communications program to ensure that critical information can be exchanged before the next incident. Their best practice serves as an example for other jurisdictions to upgrade their equipment and build in communication redundancies.