Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

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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.

Argentina 2/27/2015

Province of Córdoba. Floods update, more than 800 people continued evacuated in the province as a result of yesterday’s storm. Around 100 new evacuations were necessary in Santiago Temple and in La Tordilla, two of the most affected localities as reported by the Civil Defense. (os.: CBA.GOV.AR); (m.: CLARIN). 

Peru 2/27/2015

  • Province of Madre de Dios was declared "state of emergency" for 60 days in three districts of the jungle region which is affected by floods generated by the rivers Tahuamanu, Acre, Yaverija, Madre de Dios and its tributaries. (os.: PCM.GOB.PE); (m.: TERRA).
  • Province of Quispicanchi, Department of Cusco, in 7 localities of the department of Cusco precipitations of hail affecting 15 families, cultures and animals are recorded. (os.: INDECI). 

Brazil 2/27/2015

Emergency Declared in Departments of Acre, Amazon, and Santa Catarina in 13 municipalities due to the sudden rise of the Acre River and the flood of great proportion in the Madera River. The capital of Rondonia, Porto Velho, has been declared in a “State of Public Calamity." The water levels of the Acre and Blanco rivers are coming closer to the figures reached in 2012.  (os.: PAHO/BRAZIL).

Bolivia 2/27/2015

Department of Pando, Cachuelita Baja, municipality of Porvenir. Overflow of the Tahuamanu River damages 50% of the crops in Porvenir and isolates Filadelfia. Nearly 1,358 evacuated families and 5,000 affected in the entire department. The Government is assisting in the cleaning process of the areas affected by the flood and is also bringing food to the affected families. (os.: MINDEF); (m.: EL-DEBER). 

Argentina 2/27/2015

Province of Córdoba. Floods update, more than 800 people continued evacuated in the province as a result of yesterday’s storm. Around 100 new evacuations were necessary in Santiago Temple and in La Tordilla, two of the most affected localities as reported by the Civil Defense. (os.: CBA.GOV.AR); (m.: CLARIN). 



New Publications for Disaster Response Teams

Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Disasters

This practical guide to mental health and psychosocial support has been produced with a psychosocial and community approach, so that the intervention center can detect and anticipate problems and strengths with a community perspective. It has been designed to be a user-friendly tool and application for emergency response teams. It has been specifically designed for primary health care teams and those persons, institutions or organizations involved with these teams in responding to emergencies and providing humanitarian aid.

The main references for the preparation of the guide have been the Practical Guide for Mental Health in Disaster Situations, published by PAHO/WHO in 2006 and the IASC Guidelines on mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian emergencies and disasters, published by the Interagency Standing Committee (IASC) in 2007.

Guidelines for the Preparation of Simulation Exercises and Drills for Emergencies and Disasters

One of the most appropriate instruments to evaluate and test preparedness and response plans are simulation exercises and drills; for many years these have been widely used by organizations involved in preparedness or response to disasters. In addition, simulations and drills are also excellent training instruments; they are useful in assessing tools and processes, in decision-making exercises, in teamwork, and in coordination within and between sectors.

In preparing this publication, the Pan American Health has worked with a group of experts from Latin America and the Caribbean systematizing and reviewing experiences to prepare a set of practical guidelines to facilitate the planning and execution of drills and simulations. The guide sets the standard for the organization, development and evaluation of drills and simulations and raises the different uses can be given to these exercises, always in the context of emergencies and disasters. This tool aims to support primarily but not exclusively, health organizations, in their process of reviewing and updating disaster and/or emergency preparedness and response plans.

Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis in the Health Sector during Disaster Situations

Disasters have negative health effects that vary by type of event, the site of impact and its socioeconomic characteristics, the level of exposure of the population and their preparedness, the quality of infrastructure and response capacity installed, among other factors. Only with precise knowledge of the damage and effects it can be determined where help is needed. Damage assessments and evaluation of needs help identify the impact of a disaster, risk factors for health and needs in technical areas such as water and sanitation, epidemiological surveillance, health services, shelters, among others.

This new edition of the Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (DANA) (the original was published in 2004) puts emphasis on the organization of the health sector, from the establishment of an emergency operating committee to the health situation room, a structure that should be replicated at the national, regional and local levels. The characteristics of DANA are analyzed and formats models for the collection and analysis of health information are presented. The intention is that decision making is based on quality technical information, to diagnose, prioritize, plan for intervention and request resources for responding to emergencies effectively.

Order copies of these publications (in Spanish only) from This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or download here as a PDF file.  You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read these files. Download the software for free from the Adobe website.

Apoyo psicosocial en emergencias y desastres (5.19 MB)
Guía para el desarrollo de simulaciones y simulacros de emergencias y desastres (1.7 MB)
Evaluación de daños y análisis de necesidades de salud en situaciones de desastre (6.67 MB)

 

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