Perspectives on emergency response from healthcare providers and community residents: Local disaster with global implications
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
: 1:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
While there is increased focus on disaster preparedness and response in the wake of recent natural disasters, there is less data available regarding technological disasters. Rural communities are especially burdened by the effects of disasters as many have limited health resources and technological innovations. We present data from healthcare providers and community members of a small, Southern, rural town regarding their assessment of disaster response efforts after a train derailment and chlorine spill ravaged the community. Thirty healthcare providers and 23 community members were asked to assess the emergency response efforts after the train disaster in their community. Responses were obtained through semi-structured interviews with healthcare providers and photovoice sessions with community members. Data were analyzed and thematically categorized using NVivo software. Overall, results from healthcare providers and community residents were divergent. Many healthcare providers noted that the most functional and comprehensive disaster response plans are in place, while community members felt that first responders were poorly prepared and desire a better communication system to handle disasters in the future. Additionally, community members reported wanting more timely resources to help revitalize the community and suggested practice drills to prepare for future disaster response needs. Healthcare providers and community residents have valuable insight regarding strategies for responding to disasters, particularly in poorly resourced communities. This community's assessment of the emergency response efforts should be considered as recommendations for future disaster response strategies are developed, which can be used as a model for other communities locally and globally.
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related research
Describe the need for emergency preparedness plans for rural communities.
Describe possible solutions for an improved emergency preparedness plan from the perspective of healthcare providers and community members of a rural community.
Compare perceptions of emergency preparedness from healthcare providers and community members.
Identify strategies that can be implemented to support an emergency preparedness plan for future technological disasters locally and globally.
Keyword(s): Community Health, Recovery
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Co-PI on the project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.