Re: Topic 5 DQ 2
The video clip was an eye opener and took me through a rollercoaster of emotions. It was evident that the country of Haiti was not prepared for a large-scale disaster like the earthquake that occurred in 2010. The earthquake claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people and injured thousands more (World Health Organization, 2019). Their health care infrastructure including hospitals and health facilities were put to the ultimate test as thousands of people lined up for care. Many lessons of disaster preparedness can be learned through this devastating event.
Disaster or emergency management can be separated into four phases: Prevention or Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery, each phase having its own set of activities. The mitigation phase includes actions to prevent or reduce the cause, impact, and consequences should a disaster occur. Public health nurses (PHN) can educate the community with planning for emergency situations such as practicing preparation drills. The preparedness phase includes planning and training to develop the capacity to respond quickly and efficiently to disasters and emergencies. Activities include developing plans to include what, where, and who to call for assistance. Health care facilities may practice through drills and exercises or educate the public with creating disaster kits. The next phase is the response phase which is the phase immediately following a disaster to provide safety for the community such as search and rescues, providing shelter, food, and medical care. The last phase is the recovery phase where restoration efforts occur (Falkner, 2018).
Disasters are unpredictable and impossible to stop and therefore, preventative measures must be taken to decrease the impact in the event of a disaster (Falkner, 2018). The primary phase involves planning prior to the onset of a disaster. PHN can assist families with creating plans for emergencies such as a making a first-aid kit, having at least a three-day supply of nonperishable goods, or preparing a gallon of water per person per day for at least three days. Another important message for the public is having an evacuation plan 9Falkner, 2018). There were no evacuation or safety plans in place for emergencies. Haiti was not prepared at for mass casualty. Having necessary supplies for developing countries can be challenging. Therefore, worldwide efforts with building emergency shelters should be in place. A good place to start are hospitals and clinics with adequate supply of water and food. Secondary prevention occurs within the onset of a disaster such as providing emergency assistance and emergency shelters (Falkner, 2018). As said in the video clip, people were lined up everywhere for medical services. Preventing infections from wounds, providing necessities or proper shelter was an impossible task due to lack of supplies and inadequate infrastructure. While there were worldwide efforts to provide secondary aide, it was an absolute chaos. Boxes were everywhere and emergency supplies could not be located. Perhaps in an event such as this, a point person can be designated to coordinate supplies so that it is more assessible to the health care team. Tertiary prevention occurs once the disaster has ceased with a focus on recovery (Falkner, 2018). The time for recovery will vary but there is hope with worldwide effort. This could come from donations and missions from volunteers to assist with financial and emotional distress such as the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross is a non-profit organization that has been providing life-saving services to the members of the American armed forces as well as providing emergency assistance in the United States and worldwide.
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