Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR)

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Americans Focus On Responding To Earthquake Damage, Not Preventing It, Because They Are Unaware Of Their Risk

On July 4 and 5, two major earthquakes, followed by several thousand smaller ones, struck Southern California. Their size and the damage they caused captured attention around the country. What tends to get much less notice from the public is what can be done to prevent catastrophic damage from big quakes. Had the epicenter of these latest large California earthquakes been closer to downtown Los Angeles, tens of thousands of apartment buildings could have been damaged or collapsed. Consequently, structural engineers are calling on legislators to prepare for and prevent earthquake damage by crafting new and improved building codes...

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AUC Medical School Students Hold Inaugural Disaster Preparedness and Response TEDx Event in St. Maarten

Press Release | American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine | October 17, 2019

Ten speakers captivated a soldout audience at AUC's first TEDx event last Sunday. TEDxAUCMED brought together students and members of the Sint Maarten community for a 7-hour program of powerful and inspiring talks...The event theme, Weathering the Storm, was carefully selected as an homage to Hurricane Irma. Conference organizers chose talks that applied the theme both literally and metaphorically. "This event centers not only on the science of weathering the storm but the notion that we are capable of overcoming extreme adversity," Elizabeth Allison said during her opening remarks. "We hope today empowers you to weather your own storms." While some speakers gave harrowing accounts from the category 5 hurricane, others talked about medicine, art, and evolving global landscapes. In his opening talk, 4th semester student Yassin Nayel used a powerful patient story to punctuate the question: how can we achieve equal treatment of infectious disease worldwide?

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California's Blackouts Reveal Health Care's Fragile Power System

Nicole Wetsman | The Verge | October 28, 2019

The United States health care system depends on electricity to function normally: it needs power to run everything from ventilators to electronic health records, to ferry patients via elevator through hospitals, refrigerate medications, and countless other tasks. But that PG&E planned outage wasn't the last. There were more outages last week, and they are likely to become more frequent as the changing climate keeps California dry and makes fires more likely. The number of weather-related power outages is also increasing as extreme weather events become more common. As a result, it's more critical than ever that health care facilities are prepared for a present and future where power isn't a guarantee. Read More »

California’s Other Drought: A Major Earthquake Is Overdue

California earthquakes are a geologic inevitability. The state straddles the North American and Pacific tectonic plates and is crisscrossed by the San Andreas and other active fault systems. Tragic quakes that occurred in 2017 near the Iran-Iraq border and in central Mexico, with magnitudes of 7.3 and 7.1, respectively, are well within the range of earthquake sizes that have a high likelihood of occurring in highly populated parts of California during the next few decades. The earthquake situation in California is actually more dire than people who aren't seismologists like myself may realize. Although many Californians can recount experiencing an earthquake, most have never personally experienced a strong one. For major events, with magnitudes of 7 or greater, California is actually in an earthquake drought. Multiple segments of the expansive San Andreas Fault system are now sufficiently stressed to produce large and damaging events.

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Confronting Catastrophic Disasters With 21St Century Technologies

Dan Hanfling, Tara O’Toole | The Hill | September 9, 2019

The unfolding tragedy in the Bahamas demonstrates that the 21st century will be marked by increasingly frequent, often catastrophic disasters of unprecedented scope and scale. Yet again, the unprecedented challenges of disaster management are being met with mostly conventional, labor-intensive, costly, and often inadequately slow response efforts. These 21st-century threats, particularly those that affect livelihood, health, and well-being, deserve the application of 21st-century technologies. Read More »

Covenant Park Integrated Initiatives, Inc.

Founded in 2007, Covenant Park builds large, integrated, complex programs for disaster preparedness and continuity. They provide their capabilities at the highest level of all three branches of the US government and for highly critical, global commercial operations. Read More »

Government of St. Maarten Launches Program to Train Students in Emergency Preparedness and Response Skills

Press Release | Government of Sint Maarten | August 2, 2019

The Government of Sint Maarten is pleased to announce the launch of the Youth Emergency Hero (YEH) program that teaches school students how to prepare themselves, their households and their communities for emergencies and stay safe during disasters. The curriculum is provided by University instructors at the Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine on St. Maarten.

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HCA Healthcare Can't Hide From Hurricanes With 45 Hospitals In Florida, So It Preps Like It's The Apocalypse

Blake Farmer | Nashville Public Radio | September 3, 2019

As Hurricane Dorian threatened the Florida coast, top officials at HCA spent Labor Day weekend wringing their hands, pulling all-nighters in a Nashville command center. It almost didn't matter where the storm hits; HCA Healthcare's hospitals were going to be affected. With dozens of hospitals on Florida's east and west coasts, the for-profit hospital chain is exposed every time a hurricane threatens the Sunshine State. Late last week, the nation's largest hospital company granted WPLN rare access to observe storm preparations as Dorian bore down on the Florida coast. The mood was serious. Chatter was limited. The only sound competing with speakers was the hum of fingers on laptops taking furious notes.

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In Disasters Such as Hurricanes, HIE Is 'As Critical as Having Roads, as Having Fire Hydrants'

Mike Miliard | Healthcare IT News | October 31, 2012

The Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY) sees itself as a "public utility" as much as an HIE. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, as patients bounce between hospitals (and as other public utilities, such as electricity and transportation, are compromised), it has enabled critical continuity of care. The images of dozens of red-flashing ambulances, evacuating as many as 200 patients – some of them in critical condition, some of them infants – from NYU Langone Medical Center, whose backup generator had failed, to hospitals such as Sloan-Kettering and NewYork-Presbyterian, will be some of the most enduring images from the super storm. The harrowing process was made much smoother by the fact that those patients' electronic health records were secure and readily accessible at the hospitals to which they were thanks to New York's statewide HIE... Read More »

In Hurricane’s Wake, Decisions Not To Evacuate Hospitals Raise Questions

Sheri Fink | ProPublica | November 1, 2012

Now, in the late evening hours, the worst-case scenario was unfolding at the main campus of NYU's Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, which had lost much of its backup power at the height of the storm. Could North Shore-LIJ dispatch ambulances from its Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City to pick up four critically ill babies from the neo-natal intensive care unit? New York City hospital and nursing home patients and their loved ones might reasonably have believed they were safe as Hurricane Sandy approached. Mayor Michael Bloomberg had exempted hospitals and nursing homes in low-lying "Zone A" areas of the city from his pre-storm evacuation order. Much thought and planning had gone into the decision to "shelter in place."

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Mission Essential Solutions

Mission Essential Solutions, LLC (MES), founded in 2013, offers technical solutions aimed at providing robust mobile capabilities needed for disaster response and recovery operations. James Murphy, President and Owner of the company, is a former Marine helicopter pilot with extensive experience in disaster relief operations, flying humanitarian missions in Puerto Rico and Sierra Leone, and supporting relief operations on the ground following an earthquake and a super typhoon in the Philippines. Before retiring from the Marines in 2012, Mr. Murphy worked at the White House Military Office where he worked in disaster and emergency planning for the President of the United States and the Executive Branch Departments and Agencies.

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OpenHIE

Open Health Information Exchange (OpenHIE) is a global community working to help resource-constrained environments better leverage their healthcare data. We work to improve the health of the underserved through open, collaborative development and support of country driven, large scale health information sharing architectures. Read More »

Overdue Outbreak Detection System Leaves Patchwork Defense

Madison Alder | Bloomberg | July 30, 2019

The U.S. should have had a nationwide network to monitor for the next viral outbreak or biological threat a decade ago. It still doesn't. Instead, public health leaders make do with a patchwork system while waiting for the Department of Health and Human Services races to get its integrated network in service by a new 2023 congressional deadline. Until that nationwide monitoring system is in place, the U.S. runs the risk that a biological threat like a disease outbreak will take hold before it's noticed. "The risk is that we don't have the level of surveillance that we need. The risk is that there are things basically flying under the radar," said Helen Boucher, an infectious diseases clinician at Tufts Medical Center in Boston and director of the university's Center for Integrated Management of Antimicrobial Resistance.

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Pandemic and all-hazards preparedness, response law emboldens U.S. disaster recovery efforts

Kim Reilly | Homeland Preparedness News | June 25, 2019

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing (PAHPA) Innovation Act, S. 1379, became law on Monday with the president's signature, prompting accolades from national stakeholders, company executives and federal lawmakers. The far-reaching law ensures the United States will be better prepared to respond to a wide range of public health emergencies, whether man-made or occurring through a natural disaster or infectious disease. Overall, the law aims to bolster the nation's health security strategy, strengthen the country's emergency response workforce, prioritize a threat-based approach, and increase communication across the advanced research and development of medical countermeasures (MCMs), among numerous provisions contained in the law.

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The World Knows an Apocalyptic Pandemic Is Coming

[Laurie Garrett | Foreign Policy | September 20, 2019

A new independent report compiled at the request of the United Nations secretary-general warns that there is a "very real threat" of a pandemic sweeping the planet, killing up to 80 million people. A deadly pathogen, spread airborne around the world, the report says, could wipe out almost 5 percent of the global economy. And we're not ready. The ominous analysis was compiled by an independent panel, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), which was assembled last year in response to a request from the office of the U.N. secretary-general, and convened jointly by the World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO). Co-chaired by the former WHO head and former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland and the head of the international Red Cross, Elhadj As Sy, the GPMB commissioned expert studies and issued a scathing attack on the political, financial, and logistical state of pandemic preparedness affairs.

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