Natural Disasters and Emergency Management

Introduction

Flood is one of the commonest natural disasters which constitute 50 % of catastrophes occasioned by disproportional high volumes of rainfall. In layman, a flood is excess water in the wrong place. Flood is caused by unusually high and heavy rain that makes rivers and oceans to overflow and consequentially spreading water to the flat plain (Friel et al., 2011). The occurrence of the disaster perhaps happens faster than anticipated when there is a consistent heavy downpour over a short period (Friel et al., 2011). Therefore, the paper explicitly cover flood as one of common natural disaster experienced in different areas in the world.

How the Disaster Suit Principles of Healthcare Incident Management

The occurrence of flood aggravates health hazards to the victims through hygiene when contaminated water is consumed; injuries caused by moving materials like logs, sharp objects and mental and psychological torture. As was mentioned on this essay on flood, flood significantly affects the quality of lives of people by disrupting and dismantling infrastructure like roads and railways, houses as well as communication systems (Su & Tung, 2016). Equally, this calamity poses high risk to the livelihood of the victims and the environment. Worse case, floods will cause loss of lives if the victims succumb to injuries or illness due to the flooding. It distorts the standard sewerage systems in cities by spilling the waste to an open environment thereby risking health hazards. The spills will mix and contaminate water designate for drinking and home chores thus posing health risks of infections (Su & Tung, 2016). Due to the various health-tied consequences of flood water, the health systems are therefore an essential element to dealing with the situation of injuries and illness making the disaster to suit principles of healthcare incident management.

             Challenges Flood disaster Would Make Triaging of Victims

Triaging refers to the priority accorded to the victims of a natural calamity depending on the severity of their conditions. Notably, victims are usually the most vulnerable members of the community because flood situation is not an exception to this process. Triage focuses on both evacuation and emergency treatment at the health facility to the vulnerable and severely affected and further resources and personnel are also prioritized (Svetlana et al., 2015). Undertaking an efficient triage process in flood disaster is pretty a challenge to the team. Reasons are variant but significantly base on the safety of the group carrying out the process. The hazards include risks of electrical shocks due to distorted electrical connections, perils of an abrupt rise in water levels that might catch the rescue team unawares and harm them, possible injuries to the team resulted from moving objects in the water (Su & Tung, 2016). Some of the issues include difficulties in identifying the victims and destruction of infrastructure.  First, the visibility of the targets is a key factor in conducting an effective rescue mission to the victims of any natural disaster. Floods make it difficult for the victims to be seen when the heights of the water levels defeat the victims. Second, mission to rescue and evacuate the victims becomes severely troubled when the flood waters destroy the road infrastructural which poses a challenge to the rescue team of efficiently and effectively transporting the victims to the health facilities.

    Possible injuries and health risks to Flood victims

Flood tragedy presents variant magnitude of risks to the people affected. The characteristics of the particular location hit by the flood are core to the density of the risk; which includes the location’s elevation, nearness to water bodies, measures adopted to mitigate possible impact of flooding and the vulnerability of people and their properties to the tragedy (Lumbroso et al., 2008). Therefore, there is the need for flood risk management plan and strategy to salvage the lives of the community living in the flood-prone areas and cover their quality of lives. This proactive process ensures that the community and relevant stakeholders have committed resources and a outlined strategy to implement in the course of action (Svetlana et al., 2015). Considerably, the location and nature of the area characteristics is key to counter-flood operations to salvage properties and lives of people. This natural disaster can be proactively dealt to mitigate its intensity and aftermath losses.

Dealing with flood menace requires an advance preparation including strategies to counter possible consequences. Most important strategy and initiative by the health sector of the flood-prone areas is to form the Baseline Health Assessment (BHA) that plays to provide important data and information of the general health and crucial needs of the community. Moreover, this enlightens relevant authorities and health institutions on the mechanism to adopt when assisting the people (Lumbroso et al., 2008). These records have the demographics, ages and any physical or mental vulnerability situation that will pose a challenge to the victims during a flood situation or any other natural calamity. Therefore, understanding the nature and susceptibility of an area to health hazards is immensely essential to derive mitigation and adaptation aftermath measures.

Issues that Might Affect Vulnerable Population

Although the intervention of the healthcare system is a significant factor in averting large and numerous risks exposed to the people, there are some factors which impact on rescue operations to a flood situation. These aspects include the socioeconomics, demographics, education and institutional accountability and governance. Floods vulnerability is caused by both the environmental and human behavior factors (Svetlana et al., 2015). Floodwater is the primary cause of deaths and injuries There should be an established health management system to counter possible impact and losses of flood menace Floodwaters can be tragic to an extend of endangering human life which will happen if victims drown or succumb to serious injuries on the onset of the event when the waters are rapid and unpredictably rapid. The debris and sediments will cause serious and fatal injuries including cuts, scratches and bones breakages. These injuries if left unattended for awhile while developing into life-threatening hazards. As discussed, the flood calamity will greatly affect the vulnerable group like the children and elderly. This is because of their lack of resilience because of less physical strength and inability to make right decisions under such circumstances (Lumbroso et al., 2008). This group of victims can easily get severe injuries if they make irrational decisions in flood situation.

Flood-related health hazards and health outcomes are largely influenced by the physical, geographical and socioeconomic conditions, essential services (shelter, health care, water, and sanitation coverage), baseline health and hygiene practices. Floods will cause infections and illness when contaminated water is injected or used in homes for chores. Contamination of water will ensue when the normal sewerage systems in cities by spilling the waste to an open environment thereby risking health hazards. The spills will mix and contaminate water designate for drinking and home chores thus posing health risks of infections (Svetlana et al., 2015). However, there are measures to protect the community in such an eventuality. The community is advanced to shun drinking water not declared by health authorities as safe for usage. Moreover, chemicals bottles and other dangerous wastes are kept on heightened levels not reachable by waters.

Public health Issues that might ensue and how to deal with them

Floods have far reaching consequences to human lives and their belongings. Immediate results include loss of lives, damage to properties, destruction of biodiversity and physical and health hazards to the victims (Convery & Bailey, 2008). Also, mental stress and fatigue will quickly catch up with the victims on witnessing losses on both their properties and human life posing a long term psychological impact on the victim. This situation equally needs a medical specialist to resolve and make the victim to regain their normal minds.

Floods being a natural disaster call for all-inclusive stakeholders’ engagement and action to deal with the flood situation in an area. Meteorological agencies have an essential role to play in creating awareness to the people on the possibility of experiencing such disaster and ways to deal with it (Svetlana et al., 2015). Also, these institutions have to issue directives to citizens regarding natural catastrophes both the possible happening and mechanisms to mitigate the impact. Among the issues, these agencies would want to create awareness to people includes paying attention to flood warnings and necessary steps during this phase as highlighted.

Dos during an anticipated flood disaster

  • Gather and seek more information consistently regarding the impeding catastrophe.
  • Move stock and properties to high levels beyond the reach of water.
  • Place electrical goods, chemicals and garbage containers beyond water reach.
  • Avoid flood waters and rely on news report to decide and discover clean water for consumption. Again, the flood water may be electrically charged due to fallen power-lines; avoiding it serves a precaution measure to keep safe.
  • Residents of the affected area should also be cautious of places where flood water has receded because of risks of collapse due to weakened grounds.

How Local Collaboration and Interagency Cooperation Can Efficiently be Utilized

Flood situation can efficiently be dealt with being proactive and dynamic. One useful way to contain flooding is to implement the integration of land and water resource management. This program aims at turning this disastrous situation to benefits through the usage of floodplains in different ways while collaborating with stakeholders (Convery & Bailey, 2008). They include the policy makers and planners from the public, private and non-governmental sectors to develop and implement response strategies. This measure serves to improve sustainable development and societal resilience while reducing vulnerability.

The emergency preparedness and response plans have to be executed by institutions which are reliable, robust, highly proactive and responsive to the situation related to this disaster. The team has the core-interest of the well-being of humanity striving to protect and improve their livelihood in such occurrence. In the interest of efficiency, the composition is often multi-sectoral with experienced experts from a variety of agencies like environment, water, education, health, and infrastructure.

The impact of floods can be severe in high-density urban slums extensively affecting the population and masses. Particular attention will be paid to the vulnerable groups including women and children the elderly, physically and mentally challenged people (Convery & Bailey, 2008). This decision is informed by their inability to access sufficient resources and healthcare systems with ease comparable to another physically sound category. The health authorities and other stakeholders are tasked to identify possible outcomes of flood disaster which will most definitely aggravate health hazard and plan mitigation counter strategy in collaboration with other stakeholders

                                Conclusion

Floods are a natural disaster that disrupts the normal life of people through excessive waters. The victims of this menace face numerous risks including injuries and bodily breakages. Worse case, the victims succumb to injuries or drown by the waters. Floods catastrophe, however, can be managed through engaging the relevant stakeholders to work on plans and strategies to mitigate the disaster and response mechanism to the ongoing event. The hospital facilities are at the core of managing floods event through offering rescue service, treatment, and post-care to the victims of the natural tragedy. Also, among the victims of the flood disaster is the vulnerable group. This consists of the elderly, women, children and the mentally and physically challenged. More focus on resource and personnel commitment ought to be directed to attend to them due to their disadvantaged nature.