|Disasters Preparedness and Mitigation - Issue No. 02 - June, 1979 (PAHO)|
A UNDRO representative participated in a joint UNDRO/OFDA/LRCS technical mission to Haiti during April 1979 which advised the Government on the establishment of a special office for disaster matters and on the formulation of a long-term assistance program in pre-disaster planning. PAHO is cooperating closely with UNDRO, the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and the League of Red Cross Societies.
UNICEF - Emergency stockpile
UNICEF maintains an Emergency Stockpile at its Packing and Assembly Center in Copenhagen (UNIPAC). This stockpile was established to facilitate assistance in terms of procurement, shipment and distribution of supplies to countries affected by disasters. Purchase in bulk enables UNICEF to procure supplies directly from the manufacturers at reduced prices. Supplies may be obtained through any UN agency or be purchased from UNICEF directly by the disaster affected country. The latest specifications and price list of the emergency stockpile are available from Mr. H. Louis Shapiro, Chief, Supply Specifications Section, HQ, UNICEF, New York, N.Y. USA.
League of red cross societies
Health personnel from sixteen National Red Cross Societies of Latin America met in Oaxtepec, Mexico, from 21 to 27 January 1979. The objective of the Seminar organized by the League of Red Cross Societies and sponsored by the American Red Cross was to stimulate National Red Cross Societies in disaster-prone areas to train multi-disciplinary health personnel to act in disaster preparedness and relief actions.
The content of the Seminar hosted by the Mexican Red Cross included cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations, impact of the disaster on the physical and mental health of the community and the disaster teams, disaster -training of health professionals and Red Cross volunteers. PAHO/WHO and American Red Cross contributed with their professional expertise on disaster management.
Participants laid particular emphasis on Red Cross playing an active part in primary health care activities. The fact of people living and dying out of reach of health services may be regarded as a disaster of much greater proportions than the so called "natural disasters".
Special emphasis was put on the need for Red Cross to have a more technical and scientific approach to disaster actions and planning. To this extent the participants defined the training content and methods to promote this new concept at national level.
Further details on this Seminar and project can be obtained at the following address:
League of Red Cross Society
Nursing and Disaster Preparedness Unit
17, Chemin des Crêts
1211 Geneva, Switzerland
Inter-American defense board
The Bulletin of the International Civil Defense Organization, "International Civil Defense," is issued in four separate editions. English, Arabic, French and Spanish. It is off-set printed, and can be requested from: ICDO, 10-12 Chemin de Surville, CH-1213 Petit Lancy, Geneva, Switzerland.
International working group for the study of social and behavioral aspects of disasters
In August 1978, an International Working Group for the Study of Social and Behavioral Aspects of Disasters was established at a meeting of disaster researchers in Uppsala, Sweden. This Working Group is seen as an initial step in the future development of a more formal association. At present, the group seeks to establish more systematic linkages and communication among professionals interested in social and behavioral aspects of disasters.
Until at least the end of 1979, UNSCHEDULED EVENTS, the quarterly published newsletter of the Disaster Research Center, Ohio State University, will carry announcements of research, publications, meetings and other information relevant to an international network of disaster-studies students. Material will be provided by persons in countries in which there are continuing studies on the social and behavioral aspects of disasters. The following are disaster-study liaison persons for the indicated member countries of the Pan American Health Organization:
E. L. Quarantelli
Newsletter recipients who wish to be members of the International Working Group for the Study of Social and Behavioral Aspects of Disasters may do so by notifying either their country's liaison person or E. L. Quarantelli.
Disaster research center, Ohio university center on disaster epidemiology, Belgium
The DRC at the Ohio State University has undertaken a three-year study on disasters caused by chemical agents in the USA. The focus of the research, initiated late 1977, is an organizational and community preparation for, response to and recovery from relatively sudden chemical disasters.
In February 1979 the DRC Publications Unit issued an updated list of books, monographs, reports and other publications available in the Center.
The list of publications and any additional information are available on request from:
128 Derby Hall
154 North Oval Mall
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio 43210
The Center on Disaster Epidemiology at the School of Public Health of the University of Louvain, Belgium, has been awarded a WHO grant to organize an international 4-week course on disaster management. The course, scheduled for mid 1980, will be given in English to about 30 health officials from disaster-prone countries. Additional information may be requested from:
Prof. Michel F. Lechat
Clos Chapelle aux Champs, 30
B-1200 Brussels, Belgium