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Monitoring Emergencies

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

Chile 4/16/2014

Valparaíso region. Wildfire update (12-16 April). 12,500 people have been affected, 943 people are in eight shelters, and 2,900 homes are destroyed. The fire is still active. Response: Six mobile health posts and a field clinic are providing medical attention in the affected areas. Vaccine administration continues via the mobile units. Mental health care is being provided in shelters and ophthalmology services are provided in two schools. (o.s: Ministerio de Salud, ONEMI,  Oficina de OPS en Chile)

Nicaragua 4/16/2014

Earthquake update (10-14 April). Total: 1,585 evacuees are in three shelters. 32 health facilities have cracks and 3,775 homes are damaged. Seismic activity continues. Response: Managua and Jinotepe hospitals reorganize emergency services for safety reasons; damage evaluation is in progress. Two hospitals in Chinandega and Managua relocate their patients and three field hospitals are set up as preventive measures. Seven medical brigades are deployed in five municipalities. Water quality is being monitored. Venezuela sent four seismic stations to reinforce the monitoring network. An extreme red alert on the national level continues to be in effect. (o.s: UNETE, INETER, Oficina de OPS en Nicaragua; m: El Nuevo Diario).

Colombia 4/16/2014

Atlántico department. Sabanalarga municipality. Strong winds caused damages to the roofs of 100 homes; there are no reports of health damages. Four municipalities experienced power outages. Local response, evaluation in progress. (El Espectador, Caracol).

Ecuador 4/16/2014

Esmeraldas province. Floods update in Quinindé (10-15 April). 338 people are affected, water and electricity services have been cut and 35 homes are destroyed. Crops have also been affected and it is difficult to access the affected area. Local response with national support. (o.s: SNGR)

Chile 4/16/2014

Valparaíso region. Wildfire update (12-16 April). 12,500 people have been affected, 943 people are in eight shelters, and 2,900 homes are destroyed. The fire is still active. Response: Six mobile health posts and a field clinic are providing medical attention in the affected areas. Vaccine administration continues via the mobile units. Mental health care is being provided in shelters and ophthalmology services are provided in two schools. (o.s: Ministerio de Salud, ONEMI,  Oficina de OPS en Chile)

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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