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close this book Environmental health management after natural disasters
close this folder Part II: The management of disaster-created environmental health conditions
close this folder Chapter 2: Phase one: Predisaster health measures
View the document The plan for emergency environmental health operations
Open this folder and view contents Protective measures
View the document Education of personnel and the public

Education of personnel and the public


A primary consideration in developing a state of preparedness in a disaster-prone area is the proper education of both personnel and the public. Each environmental health service, public and private, must develop training programs for emergency operations. Such training programs may offer an orientation course to all personnel about emergency measures for natural disasters. The course should be of a general nature, providing information regarding what may happen, what can be done by whom, and how to do it. It should be repeated at least once a year as a means to instruct new personnel. The course should be complemented by a more detailed one prepared for essential emergency personnel-employees selected for training to perform certain tasks in emergency situations.

A program for preparedness also should include training exercises. Periodic drills are important for personnel to practice emergency operational measures. The training program can be reinforced by special courses about emergency situations or by conferences, seminars, and printed material about natural disasters.

Public education is of utmost importance in emergency situations. The aim of a public education program should be to win the acceptance of disaster preparedness in disaster-prone areas. Awareness of the emergency measures that may be necessary and of what may be expected of the public is a major step toward the reduction of operational problems.