|Mitigation of Disasters in Health Facilities: Volume 3: Architectural Issues (PAHO)|
The series of documents entitled Mitigation of Disasters in Health Facilities: Evaluation and Reduction of Physical and Functional Vulnerability has been prepared by the Pan American Health Organization for national, provincial, or municipal authorities (Volume 1: General Issues); owners of buildings, administrators, staff members, and other personnel connected with health installations (Volume 11: Administrative Issues); designers, architects, builders, and educators (Volume 111: Architectural Issues); and for design engineers, planners, builders, and educators (Volume IV: Engineering Issues).
The purpose of the series is to inform the people involved in the planning, operation, management, and design of health services concerning possible effects of natural disasters on health installations. The idea is to provide a useful tool that makes it possible to incorporate risk mitigation procedures both in the inspection of existing installations and in the design and construction of new buildings and services.
Each volume in the series deals with specific subjects related to the potential problems that can arise when a disaster occurs and, also, discusses the measures that should be taken to mitigate risk, placing special emphasis on the necessary requirements to ensure that installations can continue functioning during and immediately after a sudden impact disaster.
Although health installations can be affected by a broad spectrum of natural phenomena such as earthquakes, hurricanes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, floods, etc., as well as by man-made disasters, such as fires, explosions, gas leaks, and others, the series emphasizes the seismic problem, given that it is the natural phenomenon that has most affected health installations in the world and since, if its direct and indirect effects can be reduced, the risk posed by other phenomena, whose impact is normally less than that which earthquakes can cause, will also be lowered.
The manuals for architects and engineers address professionals familiar with architectural design and with structural analysis and design, respectively. Their approach is to raise concern about traditional techniques and to contribute proposals that are not usually to be found in the standard, specialized reference books.
The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization has chosen to promote the preparation and publication of this series as a contribution to the goals of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR).
Omar Dario Cardona A.