Earthquake Response

Tuesday, June 8
* In light of the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, NEHA is actively sourcing out speakers to present invaluable sessions on earthquake response. These sessions will explore the roles environmental health played in providing safe drinking water supplies, dealing with sanitation and wastewater issues, organizing mass shelters, etc. The invited speakers will also address the challenges dealt with in responding to Haiti’s earthquake. Where and/or how could environmental health have played a greater role? What are the lessons learned that could be applied in the future to strengthen emergency response?

Lecture HallLecture Hall
8:30 – 9:20am
Disaster Environmental Health: Haiti Earthquake Disaster Response

After the earthquake occurred, the Loma Linda University (LLU) School of Public Health's Center for Public Health Preparedness recognized the importance of moving quickly around public health assessment and response to the widespread destruction of critical infrastructure as well and the massive displaced populations. In response to this anticipated need, the presenter led the formation and deployment of a Public Health Disaster Assessment and Response Team (PHDART) which was on the ground within a mile of the epicenter 8 days after the quake. The initial deployment was for two weeks during which initial assessment of one of the largest Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the region was carried out, alongside rapid environmental health response activities around solid waste management, latrine construction, and water purification. This presentation will showcase highlights of what the PHDART team learned on the ground in Haiti.
Jesse C. Bliss, MPH, Director, Practice Coordinator, Office of Public Health Practice & Workforce Development, Center for Public Health Preparedness, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA

9:30 – 10:20am
US Public Health Service’s Involvement in Operation Unified Response – Haiti

The US Public Health Service was requested by the US Navy to participate as part of Operation Unified Response aboard the USS Bataan following the January 2010 earthquakes in Haiti. One of the main functions of this team was to provide water and sanitation expertise to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and to perform water and sanitation assessments at internally displaced person (IDP) camps in Grand Goave, Petite Goave, Leogane, and Carrefour. During this session, attendees will learn understand the role of the US Public Health Service during disaster/humanitarian response missions, appreciate the intrinsic challenges of being deployed as a Department of Defense asset and understand the coordination involved in effectively and efficiently managing a public health response in a developing foreign country.
LCDR Trent D. LeCoultre, MSEH, REHS, US Public Health Service, Environmental Health Scientist, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA

10:30 – 11:20am
The Haiti Earthquake: An Environmental Perspective

This presentation provides a perspective on the environmental and public health factors that made the Haiti Earthquake one of the most devastating natural disasters of human history. Numerous pictures and personal stories will be used to convey the challenge of addressing issues related to shelter, nutrition, water, sanitation, health and security during the first two months of earthquake response.
Lise D. Martel, PhD, M.Ed, CEM, All-Hazard Preparedness Acting Team Lead, International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch, Coordinating Office of Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA

 

 

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