Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

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.

Colombia 7/23/2014

Drought. Seven departments and 58 municipalities on the Caribbean Coast affected by water shortage. Declaration of public calamity in Montería (Córdoba) and in nine rural areas in Cúcuta (Norte de Santander). Meeting of the National Committee for Disaster Management analyzing the National Contingency Plan for the dry season and possible El Niño phenomenon. UNGRD has a budget of 35,000 million pesos (approximately US$ 19 million) to strengthen SNGRD institutions and entities in water supply activities, prevention and response to fires. National government prepares mitigation measures. (o.s.: UNGRD, Plan de Contingencia Nacional;  m.: El Espectador, El Heraldo, Caracol).
Sucre department. Tolú municipality. Oil spill in the ocean threatens the beaches of the municipality. No damage to communities at this moment. National response and from the Central Pipeline Company to control the spill. (o.s.: UNGRD, m.: RCN).

Mexico 7/23/2014

State of Tamaulipas. Ciudad Madero municipality. Fire at oil storage tank leaves nine people with dehydration and minor burns. Evacuation of three districts and of the refinery. Local response to control the fire. (o.s.: PEMEX; m.: El Universal, Milenio).

Colombia 7/23/2014

Drought. Seven departments and 58 municipalities on the Caribbean Coast affected by water shortage. Declaration of public calamity in Montería (Córdoba) and in nine rural areas in Cúcuta (Norte de Santander). Meeting of the National Committee for Disaster Management analyzing the National Contingency Plan for the dry season and possible El Niño phenomenon. UNGRD has a budget of 35,000 million pesos (approximately US$ 19 million) to strengthen SNGRD institutions and entities in water supply activities, prevention and response to fires. National government prepares mitigation measures. (o.s.: UNGRD, Plan de Contingencia Nacional;  m.: El Espectador, El Heraldo, Caracol).
Sucre department. Tolú municipality. Oil spill in the ocean threatens the beaches of the municipality. No damage to communities at this moment. National response and from the Central Pipeline Company to control the spill. (o.s.: UNGRD, m.: RCN).



Smart Hospitals Project to Improve Caribbean Facilities

Caribbean countries will have safer, ecofriendly and disaster resilient hospitals. This will be achieved with the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO/WHO) Smart Hospitals initiative, which will support Caribbean countries in improving their health care facilities. 

The project is spearheaded by a team of Caribbean experts and will be piloted at the Georgetown Hospital in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Pogson Medical Centre in St. Kitts and Nevis. It is designed to establish an integrated approach to building and retrofitting health care facilities to ensure that they are environmentally friendly and disaster resilient.

According to PAHO’s Regional Advisor in the Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief, Dr. Dana Van Alphen, “the project will allow for the development of a ‘Smart Health Care Facilities Annex’ to accompany national building standards and codes and the development of the Smart Hospital Toolkit to guide the implementation of climate change mitigation measures in existing and proposed facilities. It also seeks to enhance national capacity to deliver climate smart health care facilities by providing training workshops, advice through the Disaster Mitigation Advisory Group (DIMAG) and supporting policy strengthening.”

Benefits of having Smart Hospitals

Speaking on the benefits of the project for Caribbean people, Dr. Van Alphen noted that the initiative would see cost savings on health care and utility bills, reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improved air quality, enhanced physical access to hospitals, improved access to safe water and improved safety conditions.

She further noted that extensive research and site investigations have taken place at the Georgetown and Pogson Hospitals and these facilities have been assessed against a Smart Hospital Baseline Assessment Tool, designed specifically for this purpose.

This initiative follows and enhances the existing Safe Hospitals project, which advocates for hospitals to be built to ensure continued operation during disasters and that existing hospitals progressively improve their safety levels in this regard.

 

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