Natural and Technological Disasters and their Impact on Individuals, Communities and the Nation
This paper is a discussion on natural and man-made disasters. The paper focuses on the effects of disasters on the people, the community and the nation as a whole. A large scale disaster refers to one when public health emergency has been announced at all levels of government; including the county, state and the whole nation, have been involved in the event response effort. Examples of large scale natural disasters include Hurricane Katrina, earthquake, tornado and the Tsunami among others (Alexander, 1993). On the other hand, a technological disaster is a man man-made disaster that results from human activities. Most of the man-made disasters are exposed through toxic releases in water, food and drinks, through the air and explosions. An example of a large scale technological disaster is the bioterrorist anthrax attack, bombing or a political disorder (Different types of disasters, 2012).
Question One: Describe a Specific Large Scale Natural Disaster .Relative to Public Health, how does it impact Person, Community, State, and Nation?
An earthquake, also called a temblor, is a natural disaster that is very destructive upon its occurrence. It results from the earth natural processes. It occurs when the earth’s surface shakes or vibrates and this usually occurs near fault lines or plate boundaries. When stress builds up at the plate boundaries between adjacent plates, it results in a sudden movement which releases seismic energy that causes an earthquake (Earthquake preparedness, 2011). Earthquakes usually happen without a warning and they usually strike populated areas causing massive destruction. The occurrence of earthquakes has negative impacts on the following:
People– Earthquakes usually result in massive killing and injuring of people. It also results in the destruction of homesteads. People lose their loved ones, others suffer from lifetime injuries. These effects translate to people spending a lot of their financial resources seeking medication, relocation and even seeing off those who get killed.
Community– the community as a whole suffers from the massive destruction of property and death of people. In the long run, earthquakes may lead to the spread of various diseases that require the whole community to be relocated from their natural inhabitants to refugee camps. A whole community may suffer from an infectious disease that may lead to death of most of its population (Personal emergency plan, 2008). This may threaten the survival of people, which may lead to the extinction of those people.
State– the state has to spend a lot of resources in ensuring basic safety procedures to the victims so as to reduce the negative health outcomes of the earthquakes. It has to ensure emergency preparedness. The state has to ensure that it provided facilities for effective hospitality systems. These will help to provide care to the victims. The state has to invest in providing training to medical health practitioners to ensure effective care in the affected areas. It has to work closely with local hospitals to provide medications to the victims (Four Phases of Emergency Management, 2012).
Nation– as a whole, the entire nation suffers greatly as a result of earthquake occurrence. Massive deaths of people lead to the reduction of nation’s population. The nation has also to spend a lot of resources to cater for the victims of the disaster. For example, the nation has to heavily invest into health resources to provide public health care services to its citizens, including investments in rebuilding the settlements for the people.
Question Two: Describe a Specific Large Scale Technological (Man-made) Disaster .Relative to Public Health, how does it impact on Person, Community, State and Nation?
Technological/man-made disasters result from the actions of mankind. They are usually unpredictable and spread across geographical boundaries. They maybe unpreventable, and in the long run, they have adverse effects. The bioterrorist anthrax attack is one of the serious man-made disasters. It is the intentional release of Bacillus anthracis as a biological attack. The anthrax spores that hhave been released move from the lungs to the lymph nodes, where they begin to multiply, creating proteins that attack human cells. This disaster has adverse impacts on:
People– when one is infected by the disease, it leads to fever, cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, chills and vomiting. It also leads to difficulty in breathing, heavy sweating, discoloration of the skin and eventually death of the victim.
Community– the community as a whole suffers greatly from an anthrax attack. The population of the community is at risk of constant deaths and deteriorating health of the members of the society. The severity of the attack may even lead to death of almost all members of the community. Those people who already have medical complications such as lung and heart diseases will be exposed to a higher risk of negative health outcomes. Exposure to toxic releases increases chances of higher suffering (National preparedness guidelines, 2011).
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State– the state has to ensure that it comes up with safety interventions that will be effective to help minimize the effects that are released by those toxins. The state has to provide effective planning, conduct regular hazard assessments, and vulnerability analyses. These studies will be of much help in identifying target population and health consequences resulting from adverse toxics.
Nation– the governments of those nations affected by anthrax releases suffers act as far as curbing that disaster is concerned. Government agencies have to combine their efforts with hospitals and public health facilities to fight these disasters. This is through carrying out computer simulations and field exercises. This is to test the ability of the community to save those exposed to risks. The field exercise will be helpful in assessing the capability of health facilities and personnel to provide effective care to those exposed to the toxic releases. The poison control centers and industry databases also have to provide information about clinical management of the exposed toxins (Lindell, Prater and Perry, 2006).