Online Program

Lessons learned from Disaster Research Exercises in California and Texas

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Kevin Yeskey, MD, National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training, Washington DC, DC
Betsy Eagin Galluzzo, MPH, National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training, Washington DC, DC
Joy Lee Pearson, MA, NIEHS National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training/ MDB, Inc, Washington, DC
Aubrey Miller, MD, MPH, Office of the Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
April Bennett, B.S., Office of the Director-Bethesda, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
In an effort to build national capacity for rapid research after disasters, NIH began the Disaster Research Response project in 2013. As part of the project, NIH held multiple events that brought together researchers, communities, worker and labor representatives, federal, state and local officials to discuss existing capacity to conduct rapid research, the need for research in disasters and development of partnerships and protocols to allow for timely data collection on the health impacts to workers.

Table Top exercises were held in April 2014 at the Port of Los Angeles and in March 2015 in Houston, Texas. Both exercises introduced the disaster research concept and used a disaster scenario to encourage active discussion among participants. Potential research questions and protocols for studying response workers were presented.  

Participants noted that while many universities are able to conduct research in a rapid timeframe, pre-existing relationships to ensure data collected is shared with decision making authorities may not exist. Researchers are often unfamiliar with the incident command system and may not be fully integrated in to a response.  Involving the community and workers from day one was a critical message at both events as this involvement is critical to providing lifesaving information to front line workers.

This session will explore lessons learned from both exercises, differences in capacity identified, existing systems for research on worker health post disasters, opportunities for workers and researchers to collaborate on important post-disaster questions and training potential for researchers, with an emphasis on integration into emergency management systems.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the importance of integrating health research into formal disaster response structures Identify three worker related research questions that could be studied in a disaster Compare capabilities to conduct rapid health and safety research between different states

Keyword(s): Disasters, Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: A Public Health Specialist working to support the NIEHS DR2 Project since its creation, I have been involved in the planning and coordination of both Disaster Research Response table top training and in supporting the DR2 project since 2013.
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.