141st APHA Annual Meeting

In This section

Cross-border coalitions to promote effective collaborative responses to disasters in south asia & western Pacific

Monday, November 4, 2013

Jo Anne Bennett, RN, PhD , Division of Informatics & Information Technology, New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Long Island City, NY
BACKGROUND & ISSUES: Developing capacity for disaster response entails not only preparing for response activities immediately following an emergency, but also mitigating and managing potential humanitarian crises that emerge or evolve in the wake of catastrophic events. Capacity development in both public and private sectors requires training, practice, and skills evaluation. South Asia and the Pacific rim have long been recognized as geographically vulnerable to diverse natural risks (earthquake, tsunami, volcano, flooding, drought, & communicable disease. DESCRIPTION: A number of national, regional, and multinational efforts were initiated following the 2004 tsunami to enhance cross-border collaborative responses via government-nongovernment partnerships. This presentation will describe two such initiatives, which employ different types of exercises to simulate and evaluate response capacity: traditional field simulation drills, tabletop exercises, and embedded exercises. LESSONS LEARNED: The advantages and disadvantages, as well as the strengths and weaknesses, of each approach will be used to highlight specific lessons learned from the multi-year series of exercises across the region. The framework of essential public health services can be a useful guide to training beyond mass casualty care. RECOMMENDATIONS: Continual follow-up is essential; annual exercises provide opportunities to strengthen organizational leadership and partnerships, and enlarge the size of the prepared workforce; evaluation is central to ensuring relevance and ongoing needs assessment. Particular challenges of under-resourced countries/regions will be considered, both in terms of disaster impacts and community participation in disaster management (training, mitigation planning, and relief efforts). Questions for research are also raised.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Program planning
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Compare approaches for training and evaluating preparations for managing disaster response. Describe at least 3 types of exercises used to evaluate organizational capacity for disaster management. Explain 2 ways "essential PH services" can be used to frame discussion of disaster management.

Keywords: Disasters, Global Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have participated in the programs described, including training, evaluation, and practice.
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.