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 7/26-28/2014

Drought. 79 municipalities affected by fires, water shortage and damage to agriculture; of those, 37 have declared public calamity situations. Major damage in La Guajira department, with 10 of 15 municipalities in state of public calamity. Response: Assistance has been prioritized in La Guajira department and Santa Marta municipality (Magdalena). Delivery of food kits, increased water distribution through tank cars and distribution of water containers, construction of wells and installation of desalinization mills. Crisis response activated in La Guajira. (o.s.: UNGRD)
Vichada department. Puerto Carreño municipality. Flooding due to overflow of the Irinoco and Meta Rivers; in addition, gales damage homes. Local response: Declaration of public calamity. (o.s.: Municipio de Puerto Carreño m.: Emisora de Policía de Puerto Carreño, Vanguardia)

United States 7/26-28/2014

Washington state. Forest fire update. 300 homes destroyed and damage to infrastructure. Preventative evacuations continue. State response with national support. Electric service reestablished.(o.s.: INCIWEB).

Guatemala 7/26-28/2014

Izabal, Alta, and Baja Verapaz departments. Floods and landslides from rains affect 720 people and damage 123 homes. Heavy rainfall accumulation in the areas of the Northern Transversal Strip and the Caribbean. (o.s.: CONRED)

Peru 7/26-28/2014

Ancash department. Santa Rosa district. Landslides affect potable water intake systems and roads; no victims and no damage to homes. Local response: Emergency declaration, provisional catchment of spring water. (o.s.: INDECI; m.: Andina).

Colombia 7/26-28/2014

Drought. 79 municipalities affected by fires, water shortage and damage to agriculture; of those, 37 have declared public calamity situations. Major damage in La Guajira department, with 10 of 15 municipalities in state of public calamity. Response: Assistance has been prioritized in La Guajira department and Santa Marta municipality (Magdalena). Delivery of food kits, increased water distribution through tank cars and distribution of water containers, construction of wells and installation of desalinization mills. Crisis response activated in La Guajira. (o.s.: UNGRD)
Vichada department. Puerto Carreño municipality. Flooding due to overflow of the Irinoco and Meta Rivers; in addition, gales damage homes. Local response: Declaration of public calamity. (o.s.: Municipio de Puerto Carreño m.: Emisora de Policía de Puerto Carreño, Vanguardia)



Information Management and Communication in Emergencies and Disasters

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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