Disasters destruct human production capacity, damage natural resources, and infrastructure and retard development pace in any affected region. Disaster can be either local, regional or national, depending on the level of damage they cause and the number of people affected at a given time. It is the role of government and the people to remain armed with disaster preparedness and risk management skill at all times, to prevent any hazardous damage that comes with a disaster. No region in the world is free from catastrophe; however, some parts are high risk than others. Effective disaster preparedness, therefore, demands diverse planning from the national level to the local level. In Dayton Ohio disasters are not limited, winter storms, fire, flooding, and tornadoes have in the past hit the region. Flooding is a natural disaster that has hit Dayton Ohio in the past leaving people homeless, deaths were registered and extensive damages reported. Flooding remain a threat up-to-date in Ohio because the area lies on the plain land (Troy, Carson, Vanderbeek & Hutton, 2008).
Flood Emergency Preparedness
Emergency preparedness is a strategic measure put in place to respond to emerging threats and disasters. An emergency preparedness plan is composed of a set of protocol guidelines applied in managing the negative impact arising from a catastrophe. The program is recognized essential in establishing priorities, creating a response plan, coordinating the operation and implementing tactical decisions. Emergency preparedness plan is also vital in assigning roles to responsible emergency response practitioners. Emergency planning requires being flexible and spontaneous since the hazardous events may occur unexpectedly causing onset damage. Nonetheless, recurring and generalized criteria can be projected as a reasonable plan for effective risk management and organization purposes (Pamela, Qureshi, CEN & Strong, 2008). Every disaster has its specific response and management plan, and in this case response and management plan for flood strategy will be examined.
Use of a disaster checklist tool to evaluate disaster preparedness
According to the American Red Cross flood preparedness and safety plan checklist, it is important to remain prepared before, during and after flooding occurs (American Red Cross, 2017). In Dayton Ohio, floods are a threat, and therefore, every residence needs to be prepared. Advance preparation requires every home to own and assemble an emergency kit in advance, have a household evacuation plan ready for both residents and pets and remain updated of about the community response plans. Every person should continuously check weather updates in metrological websites and through radio or any media. In case a homestead is located in a low ground or floodplains, it is essential to secure an insurance policy and keep important documents in safe locations.
Floods can occur anytime, and as a result, I will examine my home and one neighbor home to see what measures are in place and what need improvement. My homestead is in a raised ground, and therefore, in case of flash floods, minimal movements will be required. However, that does not makes us safe in case flooding exceed and we have to relocate to more sheltered areas. In my home, we all have the attendance of following weather update, and as a result, it will be easy to spot signs and warning of disaster. Growing up, teachers and parents regularly taught us as children how to get ready in case of a disaster knowledge that I still remember and can use up to date. I remember the day my mother bought an emergency kit, and she called us all to the basement of the house, where we assembled all the necessary materials for an emergency. The emergency kit is kept in the basement a place easy to locate. Although we are prepared as a family for the future, it is important to keep always reminding ourselves of measures to take a right before a flood, during and after flooding.
Still examining level of flood preparedness in my community, I happened to visit a friends home. They are located half a kilometer from my home, and their house is on lower ground, therefore, in cases of floods, they would be affected. I happen to ask my friend what they would do in case of a flood, and based on the information I gathered from her and my observation, them as a family they are prepared. They continuously follow weather updates, they also own an emergency kit and her being my friend since young, and our parents are friends, they are welcome to our home in case of floods since our house stands on a raised ground. However, I realized that they do not have a flood insurance, therefore, when a flood strike they would not be compensated for damaged items.
Describe actions a public health nurse would take toward emergency and disaster preparedness
Nurses are federal health workers equipped with public health knowledge, and therefore they are relevant and equally important in disaster prevention, response, and recovery. During disaster preparedness nurses are involved in planning measures to be taken to prevent disaster, prevent loss and reduced disaster impact. Nurses, in this case, are sent out to assess population risk, and at the sometimes, they evaluate functional needs that might arise during a flood disaster. After their assessment, they develop a care plan that addresses needs of the population during catastrophe. They are also involved in conducting a training exercise in the community on issues of care likely to occur (Pamela, Qureshi, CEN & Strong, 2008). For example, nurses teach in advance how to conduct first aid and also educate the community how to preserve foods and drinks in time of flood disaster. It is also their role to evaluate the peoples knowledge of care measures to use in an emergency and identify gaps that remain to be addressed. This can be done by conducting survey and questioners on knowledge disseminated.
In disaster response, public health workers are involved in saving lives and meeting basic human needs. The nurses are sent to the field to carry out first aid during the rescue process, while at times they are assigned to assess possible disease outbreak, impact and response. They later collaborate with the present team to develop a plan to address the problem. Some are sent to rescues camps to test and give medicine to sick patients, others are sent to the field to attend to these in homes and need specialized medical care and counseling.
Recovery is designed to necessitate the community and affected persons recover. Nurses attend Patient's sick at home, and offer guidance and counseling to the community who have lost people and property in the disaster to recovery. They also assess the population of any diseases outbreaks likely to occur after the disaster for example after flooding many waterborne diseases are likely to affect people. It is, therefore, the role of the nurses to educate the community how to wash, cook and avoid food contamination.
In case a flooding disaster occurred in a weeks times, as a nurse, I would take the responsibility of educating the community about the likely health issues to happen such as cold, and waterborne diseases. I would be involved in the rescue plan as a first aid provider, and during recovery, I would educate people on the need to eat healthily and why to avoid food contamination from flood water. It will offer guidance and counseling to those who are traumatized by the event.
Disaster responder members that a public health nurse would likely interact with during a disaster response
During disasters response, different disaster respondents intervene, and each respondent has a role to play. As a nurse who is in charge of taking care of peoples lives, it is crucial to work comparatively with all respondents available those with skills and knowledge and those lacking. One of the responders likely to be present in a disaster response are paramedics. Paramedics role is to transport patients wounded and those who need energy care to a hospital for further consideration. It is the role of a nurse identify patients who need more attention than first aid help, and direct the paramedic to take the patients for further assistance.
City official such as police and mayor among others are also involved in the response team. Many of the officials may lack medical care skill, but the city officials have a knowhow of the region under flood disaster. By using their statistic and knowledge, they tell nurses which part of the area may be worst hit and may require quick attention. The nurses role is to travel with them for rescue in the most hit regions.
During a disaster response, there are multiple volunteers willing to help and their services at that time is needed. Volunteers are tasked with the work of providing and distributing food and basic needs to the victim of the disaster. It is the role of the nurse to work closely with volunteers in ensuring that the victims receive healthy foods and all necessary basic needs. Therefore, the nurse assigns different volunteers to provide food that has met specific standards and basic needs
Pamela Frable, N. D., Qureshi, K., CEN, R., & Strong, L. (2008). Disaster Preparedness White Paper for Community/Public Health Nursing Educators Prepared by Association of Community Health Nursing Educators (ACHNE) Task Force on Disaster Preparedness.
American Red Cross (2017). Flood Safety: Learn how to keep your family safe during a flood, and how to clean up a flooded home.
http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/flood#AfterTroy, D. A., Carson, A., Vanderbeek, J., & Hutton, A. (2008). Enhancing communitybased disaster preparedness with information technology. Disasters, 32(1), 149-165.
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