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5 Days at Memorial: Q&A with author Sheri Fink

Categories: Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Public Health

 

Blurred figures of people with medical uniforms in hospital corridor

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.

Ready CDC

Categories: General, Preparedness, Public Health

Ready CDC logo

By Victoria Harp

CDC leads the nation in responding to public health emergencies, such as outbreaks and natural disasters. While the agency encourages the public to be aware of personal and family preparedness, not all CDC staff  follow those guidelines. In an effort to increase personal preparedness as part of workforce culture, CDC created the Ready CDC initiative. Targeting the CDC workforce living in metropolitan Atlanta, this program recently completed a pilot within the organization and is currently being evaluated for measurable improvements in recommended personal preparedness actions.

Mental Health and Recovery

Categories: General, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Public Health, Response

 

Hospital Damage in Joplin

By: Dennis Cooley, MD, FAAP

Joplin, Missouri was devastated by an F5 tornado in 2011. Heart to Heart International set up a clinic in a Walgreens parking lot near the hardest hit area to care for injured volunteers.  The clinic provided medical care on a walk-in basis. Dr. Dennis Cooley worked in the clinic three weeks after the storm hit the town.

Prep Check! Lockheed Martin

Categories: General, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Prevention/Vaccination, Response

Prep Check Banner

Have you ever considered what you would do if you were out and about and severe weather struck? Where would you find shelter?  Would it be safe to try to go home? 

Goooal! How to Stay Safe When Traveling to the World Cup

Categories: Foodborne, General, Preparedness, Prevention/Vaccination

Gol! That’s Portuguese for goal, and it’s a word you’ll be hearing more often starting Thursday, June 12th, when the FIFA World Cup begins in Brazil.  The competition, which will take place in 12 cities across Brazil, will last for a month and bring together 32 teams from around the world to compete for the title (and bragging rights for the next 4 years). 

The World Cup is similar to the Olympics in regard to travel unknowns. If you make the trip, you’ll be traveling to a foreign country where you might not be familiar with the language and have to deal with spread-out venues and large crowds.  Although the spread of communicable diseases like flu are higher during events like this, the truth is that motor vehicle crashes are the number 1 killer of healthy U.S. citizens in foreign countries.  Below are some last-minute tips and suggestions for having a safe World Cup.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Categories: Disease Investigation, Disease Outbreak, General, Preparedness, Prevention/Vaccination, Response

Busy Gym Testing for TB

When the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) in Virginia put out a call for volunteers to help conduct a tuberculosis (TB) contact investigation, Rosalia Parada, a long time Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteer, jumped at the chance to serve her community.  The investigation was sparked when news of three students from Robert E. Lee High School acquired TB around the same time.

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