Kathleen Fessman did not anticipate the degree of damage that Hurricane Sandy would cause her Rockaway, New York home. She stayed in her house during the storm watching as her basement flooded, knocking over the gas tanks she had stored there. For nearly a week after the storm, Kathleen remained in her damaged home, not knowing where to take her five dogs Yogi, Java, Rainie, Katie and Mocha.
Sharing our stories on preparing for and responding to public health events
Selected Category: Natural Disasters
September 26th, 2014 8:57 am ET - Blog Administrator
September 18th, 2014 8:29 am ET - Blog Administrator
Back in 2007, Annie and her siblings began seeing early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease in their mother. Annie’s mother, Margaret was 79 years old and had begun to become confused and get lost while driving. Annie no longer felt she should be left alone to take care of herself. She decided it would be best for her mother to move into a small apartment addition she built onto her house.
September 9th, 2014 8:42 am ET - Blog Administrator
By Georgina Peacock
Nickole Cheron was stuck in her home for eight days after a rare winter storm buried Portland, Oregon, under more than a foot of snow in 2008. Fortunately for Nickole, whose muscles are too weak to support her body, she signed up for “Ready Now!,” an emergency preparedness training program developed through the CDC-supported Oregon Office of Disability and Health. Nickole said the training was empowering, and reinforced her ability to live independently with a disability.
September 4th, 2014 7:56 am ET - Blog Administrator
By Steven E. Krug, MD, FAAP
Imagine it. An earthquake shakes a California community, waking people whose homes have caught fire; responders must treat multiple children whose brief inhalation of smoke has rendered severe airway injuries. Or imagine a tornado rips through a town during the school day, and dozens of children need medical attention, but they’ve been separated from their identification and medical records. These are just two of the many disaster scenarios that pediatricians can help respond to—and also to plan for – so that the distinct medical needs of children are met.
September 2nd, 2014 9:48 am ET - Blog Administrator
A brutal snowstorm strikes at mid-day. Roads grow increasingly congested as commuters across the city scramble to get home before conditions worsen. Ice begins to jam roads, and resulting accidents turn interstates into parking lots and neighborhood roads into skating rinks. Some parents grow increasingly desperate to reach their children as roads become impassable, leaving students stranded on buses and at school. Other parents pick up their children only to become stuck in their cars.
August 26th, 2014 8:51 am ET - Blog Administrator
By Sonja Rasmussen, MD, MS
Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital is a non-fiction book written by journalist Dr. Sheri Fink. The book chronicles the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when thousands of people were trapped, without power, inside Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans in August 2005.
After reading Dr. Fink’s book I had the opportunity to talk to her about and her thoughts on emergency preparedness. Below we talk about her experience:
Your experiences at Memorial are haunting for me as a public health professional, physician, and acting director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response at CDC. When I read Five Days at Memorial, it was really a reality check as to how critical it is that we ensure that public health departments and hospitals can adequately respond to threats as well as maintain an infrastructure to function during an emergency.
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