Our Latest News and Events

November 24, 2015

-- Center Focuses on Healthcare Coalitions' Role in Disaster Preparedness --

NCDMPH is back on the road for the final time this year, presenting at the National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Conference in San Diego, CA, December 1-4. The conference's theme is Ensuring Readiness, Building Resilience. Center staff will present two posters during the conference: Coalition Conversations: Building Success from Our Experiences, and Implementing Flexible Learning in Your Coalition: Caring for Older Adults in Disasters.

Healthcare professionals from South Central Kansas shown during a mass-casualty training scenario in 2014.

The Coalition Conversations poster presentation will demonstrate how strengthening healthcare coalitions and their underlying systems could lead to improved national resilience to disasters. The Caring for Older Adults in Disasters poster presentation will show how healthcare coalition staff can improve their skills in assisting seniors during a disaster with NCDMPH's newly-developed curriculum.

In addition, the Advancing and Refining Communities for Emergency Management Meeting being held in conjunction with the NHCPC will feature the Center's Brian Altman as a panelist on December 1, addressing the topic, "Disaster Care Coordination for At-Risk Populations: Elderly."

November 17, 2015

-- NCDMPH Will Showcase the Unique Needs of Seniors during Disasters at AHEPP --

A Red Cross volunteer gives food to seniors who survived Hurricane Sandy in Seaside Heights, N.J.

Older adults have complex needs that must be addressed during and after a disaster. NCDMPH is pleased to present "Caring for Older Adults in Disasters: Activities from a National Curriculum for Health Professionals" at the Association of Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Professionals (AHEPP) meeting in Omaha, NE, on November 18. The Center's Kandra Strauss-Riggs, Brian Altman, and Kelly Gulley will lead the presentation scheduled for 1:30 pm.

Based on the curriculum developed in conjunction with a variety of experts in the field, "Caring for Older Adults in Disasters" is intended for a broad range of health professionals who may work with the older adult population. Curriculum topics include caring for older adults during the disaster cycle, ethical and legal considerations, and special considerations for seniors based on where they reside and receive care. If you are unable to join the NCDMPH team at AHEPP, you can access the curriculum here.

November 10, 2015

-- Veterans Making a Difference through Disaster Response --

Team Rubicon swings into action following severe flooding in Texas in May 2015.

Our nation's veterans deserve our heartfelt thanks for their service on Veterans Day and every day of the year. NCDMPH would like to introduce you to a special group of veterans who have continued their service through disaster response - Team Rubicon Global (TRG). Established in 2010 by two veterans of the U.S. Marine Corps, Jake Wood and William McNulty, TRG unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.

TRG maintains a roster of 22,000 volunteers and, over the last five years, has responded to over 80 missions rebuilding communities from disasters that range from hurricanes to tornadoes and from floods to earthquakes. This year, TRG volunteers have been deployed to aid victims of severe flooding in Texas, multiple tornado touchdowns in Illinois, and the Nepal earthquake. They are currently assisting with debris removal operations, what they call Operation Gingerbread Man, after more than 60 homes were destroyed in Bastrop, Texas.

November 3, 2015

-- Report Makes Urgent Recommendations to Strengthen Nation’s Biodefense --

Scientists work at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility in Frederick, MD.

A bipartisan panel recently released its report on the nation's biodefense which brings into focus a number of urgent recommendations and action items to strengthen its ability to confront biological threats including those intentionally introduced, accidently released and naturally occurring. The report, A National Blueprint for Biodefense: Leadership and Major Reform Needed to Optimize Efforts, was issued by the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, which is co-chaired by Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and former Governor and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge (R-PA).

Among the recommendations made in the comprehensive report include institutionalizing biodefense in the Office of the Vice President of the United States; unifying biodefense budgeting; and improving management of the biological intelligence enterprise. "Dramatic improvements are within our reach if we follow a national blueprint for biodefense, demand strong leadership, and build on the good work already underway," said Senator Lieberman. In addition, the panel suggests creating incentives for hospital preparedness and increasing military-civilian collaboration for biodefense.

NCDMPH has closely followed the work of the panel since it began public meetings in December 2014 and supports its training and education efforts.

October 27, 2015

-- NCDMPH Presents "Caring for Children in Disasters" at APHA Annual Meeting --

The NCDMPH staff is honored to be taking part in the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting and Expo October 31 thru November 4 2015. The meeting's theme is "Health in All Policies," which highlights the A volunteer provides child care at the Lake City, SC Disaster Recovery Center. importance of working with nontraditional health partners, such as housing, transportation, and education, to create policies and practices that promote healthy communities and environments and secure the many co-benefits attainable through health public policy.

During the meeting, the Center's Kandra Strauss-Riggs, Brian Altman, and Kelly Gulley will present their poster, "Meeting the Training Needs of those Caring for Children in Disasters." This session will describe an effort to facilitate learning by a wide range of public health and clinical professionals on two key topics impacting children in disasters: psychosocial impacts of disasters on children and radiation disaster issues in children. The pediatric training for health responders was developed collaboratively with stakeholders in response to the National Commission on Children and Disasters 2010 findings that a number of gaps exist in the country's care of children in disasters.

October 20, 2015

-- See it in Print! Learn How to Get Your Work Published --

The October 2015 issue of Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness "Getting Published: From Peer Review to Print" is the topic of the latest webinar from The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH). Alice O'Donnell, Managing Editor of the journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, will lead this presentation which will explain the benefits of scholarly publishing, and will provide guidelines for the best way to prepare a paper for peer review, and ultimately, acceptance.

Date: October 27, 2015, 1:00 PM Eastern
Access: http://ncdmph.adobeconnect.com/r9t42f0r4jp/
Audio Call in: 1-888-537-7715, Participant Code: 39933371
All National Center webinars are free and feature live captioning.

October 13, 2015

-- FEMA Issues Refreshed National Preparedness Goal --

Virginia Task Force 2 Urban Search & Rescue member returns from deployment in flooded South Carolina.

FEMA and its partners recently released the 2015 National Preparedness Goal PDF identifying the core capabilities necessary to achieve its vision across the five mission areas: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response and Recovery. The goal itself remains, "A secure and resilient nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to present, protect against, mitigate, respond to and recover from threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk."

Critical updates identified through real world events, lessons learned, and continuing implementation of the National Preparedness System were incorporated to produce this latest version of the Goal. Revisions include changes to select titles and definitions, and the addition of one new core capability, Fire Management and Suppression.

In addition, the second edition of the Goal includes an enhanced narrative on two extremely timely topics, cybersecurity and climate change, and an updated appendix incorporating relevant terms and definitions.

October 04, 2015

-- Flooding Dominates News; Disaster Preparedness Should Always Be Top of Mind --

Message from the National Weather Service - Turn Around, Don't Drown.®

While Hurricane Joaquin did not deliver the threat expected along the East Coast, parts of the nation were still impacting by extreme flooding unrelated to the hurricane, particularly in North Carolina and South Carolina. The National Weather Service reports that October 4 was the wettest day in the history of South Carolina's capital city Columbia.

According to FEMA's October 5 Daily Briefing Report, the flood has resulted in four confirmed storm-related fatalities and one injury, up to 200 aerial and swift water rescues have been conducted in the area, and Columbia, SC, hospitals are planning possible patient evacuation due to lack of potable water.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response (ASPR) offers timely information about coping with and recovering from flooding with topics ranging from drinking water safety, cleanup of flood water, and reentering your flooded home.

Preparing for future disasters through education is at the heart of the work done by the National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH). To assist healthcare professionals, NCDMPH has developed "Resilience Through Learning," a series of training resources for the disaster health workforce that addresses issues for all stages of the disaster cycle.

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