Assessing and Planning Health Actions During a Crisis
Department of Emergency Medicine, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, USA
Keywords: Crisis; health action; disaster planning
Initial stage of a disaster is managed with existing resources. The following stages of disaster response often involve assistance from outside of the disaster zone. This may consist of mutual aid from neighboring communities for small-scale incidents but in major disasters, the response is from federal or international agencies or often both. Rapid needs assessment after an incident is a collaborative effort between responding agencies and local emergency preparedness and health authorities. Ideally, a team from responding agencies with intimate knowledge and experience regarding the capabilities and assets of the responding entity along with local authorities, with decision making capacity, who have knowledge of the community, the limitations of the responding agencies and can obtain near real-time information about the incident and subject matter experts (engineering, medical, law enforcement, etc.) comprise the needs assessment team.