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Emergency Management and Disasters

Emergency Management and Disasters

Introduction

Disaster and emergency management compose of strategies and procedures applied to prevent and protect crucial and most important infrastructure and life in case of any natural or human cause calamities within a community. Policies that are reliable, flexible and effective need be put in place for severe situations to ensure that the interests of the public and overall infrastructure are protected. This is done through the integration of emergency services and organizations together with the health care centers interacting and incorporating their various skills to make sure that no life is harmed through any of catastrophes in the affected regions. Healthcare management facilities receive emergency cases and situations almost every time from various happenings and occurring. Since they are prone to most of these situations, they are considered among the most experienced institutions to be included in handling and controlling disasters and any emergency in a community.

When disasters and catastrophes attack specific regions, the healthcare workers and hospitals are highly expected to be among the leaders in approaching a situation with the help of other willing specialists whose service may apply. This paper focuses on emergency management in Virginia, explains how the emergency services in the region plan on working together with other departments in the public area in cases of disasters and emergency to reduce the losses.

Potential Disasters in Virginia

The department of emergency management in Virginia associates with various departments in the region to manage the frequent disasters and catastrophes in the area, mostly including hurricanes and floods. These departments may include the local government, volunteer associations in the region and the state agencies which collectively provide expertise in various phases and the required resources to the affected individuals in the disasters. Virginia started developing programs and departments of disaster management policies after several catastrophic hurricanes and floods in 2010. According to Greenberg (2006), there were around 700 calamities that caused massive destruction to infrastructure and loss of thousands of lives, which prompted the community to launch the disaster management program that has been effective since its establishment.

The health care system in Virginia, Sentara Healthcare System, has made approaches to other disaster management departments, both national and international, planning to integrate and improve the organization of disaster and emergency management to completely reduce the loss of lives as well as important infrastructure during the calamities. The disaster objectives and overall plans in Virginia aim at addressing critical issues associated with specific calamities, mostly the provision of medical care, shelter and food to the affected individuals from hurricanes and floods.

Evaluation of Trauma Assets, Emergency Management, and Healthcare System

The calamities and catastrophes impact most victims with psychological trauma, especially affecting children in Virginia. Burby (2006) Explains that the psychological trauma among children in these cases is categorized into various aspects, including their parents’ security and how predictable their physical environment is.  He explins that during floods and hurricanes, both of the mentioned factors are threatened as children with no understanding of what is happening during storms will become frightened and likely confused due to the occurring events that were unpredictable.

The management of emergency is an organized process which involves the activities before the occurrence of a disaster, during the disaster and after it has already happened. They include attempts and procedures to save lives and action towards prevention of injuries (Rubin, 2007). The procedures involved in emergency management aim to protect and prevent hazardous risks that may lead to undesired situations and endurance of planned activities and plans in the future (Burby, 2006). The process is categorized into four specific aspects that may be followed for a successful response. Mitigation comprise of the various actions taken to completely remove an existing risk, preparedness regards the actual planning and getting ready for a predicted emergency, the response given to the happened emergencies, and the recovery including the activities done to restore a situation to its former state after a disaster.

The healthcare services in Virginia in case of floods and hurricanes is a major move initiated against these calamities that frequently occur within the region. It is integrated with clinics and hospitals coming together to offer training and events about situations of floods and hurricanes (Rubin, 2007). The Sentara healthcare system, for example, incorporates the American Red Cross to enable that individuals within the area are given proper and adequate training that might help them in times of calamities to avoid injuries and loss of lives.

Level of Preparedness in Virginia

Being prepared against certain calamities involves recognizing situations that are unwanted upon various circumstances. Reilly and Markenson (2010) explain that this in among the various measures and actions that are of importance towards security and safety after and during any catastrophe. Virginia is under the threat of floods and hurricanes unexpectedly and therefore, requires early preparation to avoid huge human and material losses. Due to the past experiences and happenings, individuals all over Virginia have been prepared by the Red Cross society in America and other non-governmental disaster management organizations on the measures to be taken in case of these emergencies, which makes Virginia’s level of preparedness high, almost above most of other states in the U.S, after Florida.

Every individual in this particular state understands the meaning of disaster and its effects. Due to the difference of needs and abilities possessed by each person, each individual has been trained and prepared differently with all plans in place. This action enables approach each situation according to the best of personal abilities instead of doing nothing and waiting for the emergency services which might delay and result in huge loss of infrastructure and lives.

Individuals have been taken through all the necessary details that might be of great help to them in a case of floods and hurricanes, with the elderly being advised to have close assistants in their presence and avoid living on their own (Smith, 2006). People with special needs are advised on the same and emergency conttacts should be a part of their acquaintances so that in a case of emergency they should be the first ones to be attended to by the emergency service.

Before and during heavy storms in Virginia, residents are highly advised to watch, monitor and listen to the local channels and radio for any information. By doing this, the individual is ever ready for the alert calling for evacuations to avoid rushing on the last hours where roads and airports might be flooded (Greenberg, 2006). The weather experts also have a warning alarm that is loud enough to alert the whole Virginia of the coming hurricane, thereby having them prepared to evacuate as soon as possible. With all these precautions and alerts, Virginia’s level of preparedness is considered high and risks of the hurricanes and floods reduced.

The Healthcare System’s Role in Responding to a Particular Disaster

The healthcare system plays a major role in disaster and emergency management in any calamity and catastrophe, especially the response phase. The healthcare professionals are not only the first ones in the disaster scenes but are also involved in embracing a community with relevant skills and measures that can be taken in events like these, by developing policies, detailed plans, conducting training and drills to ensure full preparedness to the times of disaster (Reilly & Markenson, 2010). The public health nurses join hands with other professionals and experts like environmentalists, weather experts and physicians among many others, to enable full understanding and providence of necessary skills against disasters. In Virginia this has been enabled as different workers in various sectors have come together and collaborated with the healthcare workers and put measures and policies towards dealing with floods and hurricanes in the region.

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The healthcare facilities receive emergency cases in various occasions and their main role lies between reducing the extent of injuries and prevent further loss of lives among the victims (Reilly & Markenson,  2010). During emergency events, there are possibilities of different diseases outbreaks. The healthcare team is responsible for containing and preventing the spread of such outbreaks since people are usually scattered and located in one region during disasters.

Conclusion

Every country is vulnerable to the disasters and calamities regardless of their location; this may involve floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunami and even terrorist attacks. In case of these situations, the healthcare systems and the related personnel usually play major roles by collaborating with experts in different fields to help prevent, reduce and stop cases of destruction and loss of lives where possible. The level of preparedness by different individuals also determines the severity and survival in the cases of calamities, with the most prepared individuals standing a chance to manage the disaster without any help from the response teams. It is, therefore, important every community to provide training and to prepare their regions appropriately in case of any calamity.  The new facilities and urgent care centers established in Virginia community have been of great help to the residents as they have helped incorporate various programs and policies assisting during floods and hurricanes calamities.

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