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Principles and practice of disaster relief: lessons from Haiti.
Mt Sinai J Med. 2011 May-Jun; 78(3):306-18.MS

Abstract

Disaster relief is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the organizational processes that help prepare for and carry out all emergency functions necessary to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters caused by all hazards, whether natural, technological, or human-made. Although it is an important function of local and national governing in the developed countries, it is often wanting in resource-poor, developing countries where, increasingly, catastrophic disasters tend to occur and have the greatest adverse consequences. The devastating January 12, 2010, Haiti earthquake is a case study of the impact of an extreme cataclysm in one of the poorest and most unprepared settings imaginable. As such, it offers useful lessons that are applicable elsewhere in the developing world. Emergency preparedness includes 4 phases: mitigation or prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. Periods of normalcy are the best times to develop disaster preparedness plans. In resource-poor countries, where dealing with the expenses of daily living is already a burden, such planning is often neglected; and, when disasters strike, it is often with great delay that the assistance from international community can be deployed. In this increasingly interconnected world, the Haiti earthquake and the important international response to it make a strong case for a more proactive intervention of the international community in all phases of emergency management in developing countries, including in mitigation and preparedness, and not just in response and recovery. Predisaster planning can maximize the results of the international assistance and decrease the human and material tolls of inevitable disasters. There should be a minimum standard of preparedness that every country has to maintain and the international assistance to achieve that. International academic medical centers interested in global health could strengthen their programs by prospectively including in them contingency planning for international relief operations. Healthcare professionals of these institutions who travel to disaster zones should rigorously prepare themselves and make provisions for collecting and reporting data, which will enrich the knowledge of this growing activity.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA. ernest.benjamin@mountsinai.orgNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21598258

Citation

Benjamin, Ernest, et al. "Principles and Practice of Disaster Relief: Lessons From Haiti." The Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, New York, vol. 78, no. 3, 2011, pp. 306-18.
Benjamin E, Bassily-Marcus AM, Babu E, et al. Principles and practice of disaster relief: lessons from Haiti. Mt Sinai J Med. 2011;78(3):306-18.
Benjamin, E., Bassily-Marcus, A. M., Babu, E., Silver, L., & Martin, M. L. (2011). Principles and practice of disaster relief: lessons from Haiti. The Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, New York, 78(3), 306-18. https://doi.org/10.1002/msj.20251
Benjamin E, et al. Principles and Practice of Disaster Relief: Lessons From Haiti. Mt Sinai J Med. 2011 May-Jun;78(3):306-18. PubMed PMID: 21598258.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Principles and practice of disaster relief: lessons from Haiti. AU - Benjamin,Ernest, AU - Bassily-Marcus,Adel M, AU - Babu,Elizabeth, AU - Silver,Lester, AU - Martin,Michael L, PY - 2011/5/21/entrez PY - 2011/5/21/pubmed PY - 2011/9/29/medline SP - 306 EP - 18 JF - The Mount Sinai journal of medicine, New York JO - Mt Sinai J Med VL - 78 IS - 3 N2 - Disaster relief is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the organizational processes that help prepare for and carry out all emergency functions necessary to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters caused by all hazards, whether natural, technological, or human-made. Although it is an important function of local and national governing in the developed countries, it is often wanting in resource-poor, developing countries where, increasingly, catastrophic disasters tend to occur and have the greatest adverse consequences. The devastating January 12, 2010, Haiti earthquake is a case study of the impact of an extreme cataclysm in one of the poorest and most unprepared settings imaginable. As such, it offers useful lessons that are applicable elsewhere in the developing world. Emergency preparedness includes 4 phases: mitigation or prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. Periods of normalcy are the best times to develop disaster preparedness plans. In resource-poor countries, where dealing with the expenses of daily living is already a burden, such planning is often neglected; and, when disasters strike, it is often with great delay that the assistance from international community can be deployed. In this increasingly interconnected world, the Haiti earthquake and the important international response to it make a strong case for a more proactive intervention of the international community in all phases of emergency management in developing countries, including in mitigation and preparedness, and not just in response and recovery. Predisaster planning can maximize the results of the international assistance and decrease the human and material tolls of inevitable disasters. There should be a minimum standard of preparedness that every country has to maintain and the international assistance to achieve that. International academic medical centers interested in global health could strengthen their programs by prospectively including in them contingency planning for international relief operations. Healthcare professionals of these institutions who travel to disaster zones should rigorously prepare themselves and make provisions for collecting and reporting data, which will enrich the knowledge of this growing activity. SN - 1931-7581 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21598258/Principles_and_practice_of_disaster_relief:_lessons_from_Haiti_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1002/msj.20251 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -