Disaster Preparedness

Infographic on Disaster Preparedness

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/214554369724667207/

Closely related to the effects of climate change on the health of individuals, animals, and environments is the increase in the number of extreme weather events that occur planet wide. Whether a community is extremely prepared for these catastrophes or not, these naturally occurring phenomenon have a great impact on the lives and livelihoods of people living in that area. One of the most recommended ways to spread information and awareness about disaster preparedness is for public health officials and organizations to educate the public about what to do in the event of a disaster. This video by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) does a great job of explaining the importance of disaster preparedness outreach and is one example of media created by an organization interested in promoting public health.

Additionally, groups such as The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have websites devoted to educational resources, as well as mentioning what can be done to help areas affected by disasters to recover. They have information pamphlets on ways to reduce disaster risk in addition to specific resources listed for preparing, responding, and recovering from a crisis. Other organizations, such as the EPA, ASPCA, the Global Disaster Preparedness Center, etc., offer disaster preparedness tips, suggest items to include in disaster preparedness kits, and actively encourage families to come up with a disaster plan to follow in the event of an extreme weather event. Without these many resources and still in some countries where there is no way to access the internet to view these pamphlets and videos, the health impacts of disasters are very severe.

Weather events can result in, most obviously, minor to fatal injuries, but they can also lead to the incidence of communicable diseases, acute illnesses, such as respiratory or ocular problems in the event of wildfires and volcano eruptions. Disasters can also lead to increased cases of chronic illness, such as heart attacks, and psychological effects, in example depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is then the job of organization like the Red Cross, FEMA, and others to go into these areas affected by disaster and help guide them to recovery.