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.

Mexico - 8/21/2014

State of Nuevo Leon, Candereyta municipality. An oil spill in Rio San Juan affected between 4,000 and 5,000 people in at least three communities. A water quality analysis is being conducted in surrounding areas. Local response. (m.: Milenio).

Panama - 8/19/2014

Province of Chiriquí. Floods update (17 August). SINAPROC confirmed yesterday the death of nine people and the destruction of over 20 houses. Temporary shelters have been set up. 400 people affected. The President has declared a state of emergency, and the removal of debris has restarted. (o.s.: SINAPROC)

Mexico - 8/19/2014

State of Sonora, Cananea. Potential water contamination due to a sulfuric acid spill in the Sonora river after a structural failure in a copper mine, caused by heavy rains in the area.   According to press reports nearly 40,000 cubic meters of sulfuric acid were spilled. As a security measure, CONAGUA suspended water supply to 20,000 people in the region and is carrying out sampling in different points of the river. (m.: El País)

Mexico - 8/21/2014

State of Nuevo Leon, Candereyta municipality. An oil spill in Rio San Juan affected between 4,000 and 5,000 people in at least three communities. A water quality analysis is being conducted in surrounding areas. Local response. (m.: Milenio).



Management of Dead Bodies After Disasters
A Field Manual for First Responders

Management of the dead is one of the most difficult aspects of disaster response. It has profound and long-lasting consequences for survivors and communities. Globally, disasters claim thousands of lives each year. However, care of the deceased is often overlooked in disaster planning and the absence of guidance for first responders has recently been highlighted following several large disasters. This Field Manual for First Responders presents simple recommendations for non-specialists to manage the recovery, basic identification, storage and disposal of dead bodies following disasters. It also makes suggestions about providing support to family members and communicating with the public and the media.

This manual will be useful during the immediate response to a disaster and where forensic response is unavailable. Furthermore, it will be useful for those preparing mass fatality disaster plans. The recommendations are relevant for local, regional and national authorities as well as for non-governmental organizations. The principles outlined in this document are being implemented and promoted by a variety of organizations, including the Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The Manual has undergone an extensive peer review process. We have received comments from 8 technical reviewers: the chair of INTERPOL’s DVI committee, the Head Forensic Pathologist at the Home Office in the UK, a forensic specialist in Sri Lanka, two disaster managers in the Caribbean, an academic disaster expert in the UK, a human rights specialist from ICRC and an international disaster professional. In addition, the manual has also been reviewed by attendees of a meeting of forensic specialists in Colombia, 15 Public Health leaders from 9 Asian countries at a regional meeting about mass fatality management, and forensic experts from Jordan who participated in an ICRC workshop. In addition, the draft manual and forms were used in the field following the earthquake in Pakistan and mud-slide in the Philippines.

This book can be ordered from PAHO's Emergency Preparedness Area ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), or can be downloaded as PDF file. You need to have installed Adobe Acrobat Reader to read these files. It can be obtained free of charge from the Adobe Website.

Download the document (1007.58 kB)

Gestion des dépouilles mortelles lors de catastrophes - Télécharger la version française

Download the Japanese version

 

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