Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

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Monitoring Emergencies

From official sources (O.S.) and media (M). It does not represent PAHO's official position.

Bolivia 4/24/2014

Cochabamba department. Omereque municipality. A drought is affecting seven towns and affecting agriculture. Municipal emergency declared. (m: ABI).

Colombia 4/24/2014

Tolima department. Ibagué municipality. Floods and landslides from rain affect ten neighborhoods; no health damage. Drinking water supply is partially affected. (m: RCN Radio, Caracol)
Valle del Cauca department. Trujillo municipality. Strong winds damage 67 homes. Local authorities request departmental and national support. (m: El País, Caracol)

Ecuador 4/24/2014

Manabí province. Manta community. Ammonia leak causes four deaths and injures 33 people, nine of them seriously. Local response with provincial support. (o.s: SNGR; m: El Comercio, Hoy).

Mexico 4/24/2014

Michoacán state. Lázaro Cárdenas municipality. Fertilizer plant fire generates a gas cloud that causes 77 people to seek medical care. Three schools and residents of a community were also evacuated preventively. Local and state response. (o.s: Michoacán Government, Michoacán Civil Protection; m: Quadratin, El Universal).

Peru 4/24/2014

Ubinas volcano. Volcanic activity and ash emission continues. Cases of conjunctivitis increase in San Juan Tarucani. Response: Strengthening of medical and psychological response by medical brigades, as well as support in the evacuation of Moquegua. Preventive measures and monitoring ongoing in communities affected by ashfall in Puno. Humanitarian aid sent to population in shelters. (o.s: INDECI, Ministry of Health, INGEMMET; m: El Comercio, Crónica Viva).

Bolivia 4/24/2014

Cochabamba department. Omereque municipality. A drought is affecting seven towns and affecting agriculture. Municipal emergency declared. (m: ABI).

Information Management and Communication in Emergencies and Disasters

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Manual for Disaster Response Teams

The Pan American Health Organization coordinates a Regional Disaster Response Team and supports country efforts to develop national health sector teams to respond to emergencies and disasters. These multi-disciplinary teams have expressed the need for specialists in the fields of information management and communication. The role of these specialists is to produce quality information which can be shared with the people and agencies that need it. The information must be produced on time, in the proper format, and distributed through the most appropriate channels.

This work can only succeed when performed in a team setting. Disaster management experts, communicators, or administrators cannot work in isolation. It is the integration and balance of their efforts that make the difference. Communication specialists need to understand the reality of disasters. Likewise, those with disaster management and public health experience can make better decisions when they can rely on the support of communicators. This book is part of the effort to improve technical capacity in the Region of the Americas and has been developed from lessons learned and practical experience gained in countless disasters. The manual provides recommendations on dealing with the context and conditions where information is needed, guidelines on producing reports and distributing information for different audiences, how to manage communication media, and planning the work of communication during emergency response. It complements other PAHO/ WHO efforts in communicating for risk management.

Summary of the content

Chapter 1 Communication and information management during emergency and disaster response
Chapter 2 Planning communication and information management for emergencies and disasters
Chapter 3 Managing information during an emergency or disaster
Chapter 4 Working with communication media
Chapter 5 Developing messages and communication materials
Annexes: Checklists, situation report format, examples of situation reports and press releases, Web sites, acronyms and bibliography

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