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.

El Salvador 10/21/2014

Floods. Five people have died as a result of this month’s rainfall. The continued rain has produced landslides and the collapse of walls and drains. In addition, the landslide susceptibility conditions are moderate to high across the country. (o.s.: Civil Protection, SNET; m.c.: La Prensa Gráfica).

Guatemala 10/21/2014

Orange alert for rain. 64% of the territory has very high probabilities of landslides and floods. Unstable conditions continue throughout the country. There are 12.059 people affected due to landslides, flooding and damage to infrastructure. Increase in the flow of seven rivers and the collapse of drains have been attributed to the rainfall. (o.s.: CONRED; m.c.: Prensa Libre).

Honduras 10/21/2014

Floods. About 5,004 people are isolated and 4,998 more have been evacuated to shelters due to the rains that hit the country; three people have died and three are missing. In La Costa de los Amates about 3,000 people have been isolated by the flooding of the Goascoran river. In La Mosquitia the rising waters of the Coco River have left 2,004 people held isolated. Rainfall has also left 4,998 people affected, of which 2,499 have been evacuated and 2,499 are living in shelters. The rise of the Choluteca River has the lowlands of the south on alert. COPECO has alerted the population of water contamination in areas where floods and overflows have been recorded. (o.s.: COPECO; m.: La Tribuna).

Nicaragua 10/21/2014

Rainfall. A Yellow Alert remains in effect as rainfall is expected to persist in the country, mainly in Rivas, Granada, Masaya, San Juan River, Southern Caribbean and the Autonomous Region. 24 people have died and there are 60,000 people affected in 17 departments. 5,852 houses have been damaged, of which 881 have been vacated due to high risk. 224 miles of roads have been damaged and 87 have been destroyed, as well as wells, bridges and latrines. National response. (o.s.: INETER; m.: La Voz del Sandinismo).

Mexico 10/21/2014

Hurricane Trudy. At least six people were killed, 2,300 were evacuated and 16 people remained are isolated after the passage of Tropical Storm Trudy, that has since been downgraded to a depression, in the state of Guerrero. The natural phenomenon mainly affected the municipalities of Huamuxtitlán, Tlalixtaquilla and Malinaltepec. In Oaxaca the local government informed of the overflow of the Juchatengo and Toltec rivers. Authorities issued a preventive red alert both in Guerrero and Oaxaca, due to the heavy rains produced by the storm. (o.s.: Protección Civil; m.c.: CNN).

El Salvador 10/21/2014

Floods. Five people have died as a result of this month’s rainfall. The continued rain has produced landslides and the collapse of walls and drains. In addition, the landslide susceptibility conditions are moderate to high across the country. (o.s.: Civil Protection, SNET; m.c.: La Prensa Gráfica).



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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