Disaster Response & Recovery

Topic: Disaster Response & Recovery

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Disaster Response & Recovery

The 9-1-1 online magazine provided the following disaster scenario:

The autumn afternoon is sunny, with a strong breeze from the northwest. It is a perfect day for a football playoff game at the local stadium. The parking lot is rapidly filling up with thousands of football fans who are enjoying traditional pre-game tailgate parties, picnics, and barbecues in a crowded sector reserved for recreational vehicles.
Shortly after noon, an explosion rocks the parking lot. Panic-stricken fans rush away from the scene, even as curious onlookers press forward for a better view. Standby emergency medical teams scramble through the crowd towards those who are injured. A security guard quickly dials 9-1-1: “I’m calling from the football stadium. We’ve just had an explosion in parking Lot D. Everybody’s screaming. I don’t know how many are injured… We need help now!”

You are the disaster coordinator for the city. For this Case Assignment your are to respond to the following questions as the Disaster Coordinator for the City in a 600 – 1400 word paper that answers the following questions:
1. How would you respond to a disaster such as this? Briefly explain what steps you would take, including the agencies you would contact. Response must use the Incident Command System.
2. Assume that the explosion was caused by terrorists. How does the National Response Plan dictate your response and role in responding to the presumed terrorist attack?

Case Assignment Expectations
Length: Case assignments should be at least 2-3 pages.
References: At least two references should be included from academic sources (e.g. peer-reviewed journal articles). Required readings are included. Quoted material should not exceed 10% of the total paper


Modular Learning Objectives
By the end of this module, the student shall be able to satisfy the following outcomes expectations:
? Case
o Examine the role of federal, state and local agencies in implementing the main components of the National Response Plan during a disaster response.
o Discuss and explain the main components of the National Response Plan, including the roles of federal agencies
o Identify weaknesses and constraints in disaster response efforts.
o Discuss and describe disaster response efforts.
o Identify weaknesses and constraints in disaster response efforts.

Disaster Response & Recovery
The response phase is defined as those actions which take place when the emergency occurs. It involves reacting responsibly and immediately to the situation. During the response phase, plans and programs set up in the preparation phase are put into action.
On the immediate level, it may involve taking cover or escaping. On a very basic and fundamental level, response is providing shelter, water, food, and sanitation to victims and refugees. It may also involve providing medical and police or military support or providing emotional aid to victims and refugees.
During a disaster, response efforts need to take place immediately. Delays occur when governmental agencies have not adequately prepared for a disaster. A key role of a manager is to coordinate these disaster response efforts and to troubleshoot problems.
When a disaster occurs, an EOC becomes activated which involves mobilizing personnel and implementing emergency plans. The typical first responders include off-duty police officers, firefighters, emergency medical service personnel, and other medical personnel who happen to be in the area. Below is a wheel which shows the steps that are taken during an emergency. Click on the button below to view these steps in more detail.

What is Triage?
During a disaster, the number of individuals in need of assistance may exceed the number of staff available to provide assistance. Therefore, triage is used most frequently in emergency situations. Victims are evaluated, sorted by immediacy of treatment needed, and set up for immediate or delayed treatment. Military experience has shown that triage is an effective strategy in situations where rescuers are overwhelmed, there are limited resources, and time is a critical factor. It is a system used to organize the victims. The goal of triage is to do the greatest good for the greatest number of victims. Triage occurs as quickly as possible after a victim is located or rescued. Triage personnel evaluate victims? conditions and sort the victims into three categories:
? Immediate (I). The victim has life-threatening (airway, bleeding, or shock) injuries that demand immediate attention to save his or her life; rapid treatment is imperative.
? Delayed (D). Injuries do not jeopardize the victim?s life if definitive treatment is delayed. Victims may require professional care, but immediate treatment is not imperative.
? Dead (DEAD). No respiration after two attempts to open the airway. (CPR is frequently not performed in the disaster environment because resuscitation of a person in full cardiorespiratory arrest takes a tremendous amount of time and human resources.)
From triage, victims are taken to the designated medical treatment area (immediate care, delayed care, or morgue) and from there are transported out of the disaster area. The flow of patients is illustrated below.
Communications System. A working communications system is key to responding to emergencies. During a disaster, phone lines may be down, requiring you to use alternative means of communications, such as radio. It is important that the details of an alternative communications system be worked out ahead of time. Because there may be a breakdown in the communications system, personnel should be equipped with radios and posted in the field to identify and assist in reporting emergencies.
The recovery phase of disaster response overlaps to some extent the response phase. While the response phase includes the more immediate and emergent actions, the recovery phase includes actions that are not considered as emergent. The recovery phase is often the most difficult period for the victims. They may have severe losses including the loss of loved ones, health, home, job or community, emotional spirit, and financial. These needs should be addressed during the recovery phase


Required Readings
Eisenman, D., Cordasco,Kristina M., Asch, S., Golden,Joya F., Glik, Deborah (2007).Disaster Planning and Risk Communication With Vulnerable Communities: Lessons From Hurricane Katrina, American Journal of Public Health. Washington: 2007. Vol. 97, Iss. S1; p. S109 (7 pages) Retrieved from ProQuest.

FEMA (2010) IS-800.B National Response Framework: An Introduction. Review this course summary, You may want to take this mini-course sponsored by Emergency Management Institute. This is optional on your part. Retrieved February 05, 2011 from:http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/IS800b.asp

? Module
o Understand the role of federal, state and local agencies in implementing the main components of the National Response Plan during a disaster response. the role of federal, state and local agencies in implementing the main components of the National Response Plan during a disaster response.
? Case
o Discuss and explain the main components of the National Response Plan, including the roles of federal agencies
o Identify weaknesses and constraints in disaster response efforts.
o Examine the role of federal, state and local agencies in implementing the main components of the National Response Plan during a disaster response.

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