Emergency Preparedness

Putting the puzzle together: reducing vulnerability through people-focused planning.

Supporting and integrating vulnerable persons into emergency management has emerged as an increasing priority in emergency management in Canada. Events such as the 2003 European heat wave and Hurricane Katrina have shown that disasters almost always have the harshest affects on the frail elderly, people with disabilities, the disadvantaged and the least able. While it […]

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A national initiative to train long-term care staff for disaster response and recovery.

A 3-year national initiative entitled “PREPARE: Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Training for the Long-Term Care Workforce” had the purpose of training long-term care (LTC) healthcare providers with the core competencies necessary to respond to and recover from large-scale disasters and public health emergencies. Older adults in LTC settings comprise a vulnerable population requiring special attention […]

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Variations in disaster preparedness by mental health, perceived general health, and disability status.

OBJECTIVES: Chronic medical and mental illness and disability increase vulnerability to disasters. National efforts have focused on preparing people with disabilities, and studies find them to be increasingly prepared, but less is known about people with chronic mental and medical illnesses. We examined the relation between health status (mental health, perceived general health, and disability) […]

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Dealing with at-risk populations in radiological/nuclear emergencies.

In a mass casualty event, there will be at-risk populations that will require unique triage, treatment and consequence management to minimise immediate and long-term health effects. This statement is particularly true for radiological/nuclear (R/N) disasters where individuals exhibit a broad range of physiological responses to radiation exposure. For example, immunocompromised individuals will experience more detrimental […]

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Pharmacist-based intervention to prepare residents of assisted-living facilities for emergencies.

OBJECTIVE: To assess views of disaster preparation and readiness of assisted-living residents after a comprehensive program developed and presented by pharmacists on the importance of preparing for an emergency, specifically regarding organizing of medical information. METHODS: Four assisted-living facilities were identified throughout Rhode Island to participate in a 30-minute program conducted by two pharmacists who […]

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The controversy inherent in managing frail nursing home residents during complex hurricane emergencies.

Emergency planning for vulnerable populations constitutes a major element of community disaster preparedness and is an area in which guidance is particularly sparse. As evidenced by the well-publicized deaths of nursing home residents following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the need to improve nursing home emergency preparedness is self-evident. Nevertheless, as efforts to improve preparedness develop, […]

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SWIFT: a rapid triage tool for vulnerable older adults in disaster situations.

BACKGROUND: In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused extensive damage to parts of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, causing many people, including vulnerable older adults, to evacuate to safe surroundings. Approximately 23,000 evacuees–many of them 65 years old or older, frail, and lacking family to advocate for their care–arrived at the Reliant Astrodome Complex in Houston, Texas. There […]

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Insuring continuity of care for chronic disease patients after a disaster: key preparedness elements.

BACKGROUND: Care for patients with chronic diseases is a challenge after a disaster. This is particularly true for individuals from health disparate populations as they are less likely to evacuate, have fewer financial resources and often depend on resource-strapped institutions for their care. The specific aim of the study presented here was to elicit challenges […]

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Surviving the storms: Emergency preparedness in Texas nursing facilities and assisted living facilities.

This study assesses the preparedness of long-term care facilities in Texas responding to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. A 41-item questionnaire was mailed to facilities; the response rate was 42%. Among responding facilities, 4513 residents were evacuated, and 6% of respondents reported resident death. Financial losses were reported by 8% of nursing facilities and 45% of […]

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Disaster preparedness for vulnerable persons receiving in-home, long-term care in South Carolina.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine how agencies in South Carolina that provide in-home health care and personal care services help older and/or disabled clients to prepare for disasters. The study also examines how agencies safeguard clients’ records, train staff, and how they could improve their preparedness. METHODS: The relevant research and […]

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