The Disaster Cycle

1-Kuo C-J, Tang H-S, Tsay CJ, Lin S-K, Hu W-H, et al. (2003). Prevalence of psychiatric disorders among bereaved survivors of a disastrous earthquake in Taiwan. Psychiatric Services, 54(2), 249-251.
2-Gibson, Mary Jo with Michele Hayunga. (2006). We can do better: Lessons learned for protecting older persons in disasters. Washington, D.C.: AARP Public Policy Institute, 84 pages. A short summary is also available at www.aarp.org

In this study, they investigated the characteristics of a community-based group of bereaved survivors in the early stages after a disastrous earthquake. The aim of it is to describe the post earthquake prevalence of acute psychiatric disorders and to explore risk factors associated with psychiatric disorders. They did a comparison between two townships. township A located three kilometers from the earthquake’s epicenter, and township B, located 25 kilometers from the epicenter. Both of the townships had a population of around 20,000. Psychiatric assessment was managed and organized by a trained psychiatrist in two months. The result of the study was that the significant risk factors for PTSD were a greater number of psychosocial stressors and initial feelings of guilt. Moreover, they found that the rate of all psychiatric disorders was two times higher than that found in a previous community-based epidemiological study in Taiwan.

2-Gibson, Mary Jo with Michele Hayunga. (2006). We can do better: Lessons learned for protecting older persons in disasters. Washington, D.C.: AARP Public Policy Institute, 84 pages. A short summary is also available at www.aarp.org
This article is about a report following the aftermath of occurrence of disaster in the United States. Hurricane Katrina and Rita caused a devastation of the mental health older adults and their needs during a disaster. This refers to individuals who are aged above the age of 50 years. Government officials and different emergency preparedness and disaster teams and stakeholders converged to determine the needs of old people during a disaster and how to handle them in terms of communication, evacuation and transportation. Older adults are considered a special needs groups that should be handled as such to encourage and enable them to have a good quality of life during and after the disaster. The paper also talks about the need for close medical monitoring of older adults during a disaster. This is because older adults usually have a high prevalence of disease. Cases of disease complication during a disaster is common and is usually due to increased level of stress for the older adult. This means that psychological help is very necessary to prevent these kinds of complications from occurring and this is the emphasis of the paper by Gibson, Mary.

  1. The Jenkins et al paper discusses “The Disaster Cycle” and “Issues for a Successful Recovery.” Choose one of those topics and research the literature to support what these authors have to say.

The Disaster Cycle deliberates on steps that emergency professionals should consider in case of a disaster. Using the hurricane Katrina disaster that happened in 2005 as a reference, the cycle consists of four overlapping stages, which have mitigation initiatives designed to facilitate preparedness efforts including training and planning for safety matters (Jenkins, Laska & Williamson, 2007). These phases seek to reduce future risks and formulate a recovery procedure to restore sectors that may have been ruined during a disaster. The initial stage is mitigation to reduce the number of people who are exposed to calamities (Jenkins, Laska & Williamson, 2007). Although a majority of old people had developed survival tactics because they had undergone similar experiences in the past, they were not strong enough to sustain themselves due to the harsh weather conditions that were linked to the hurricane. Numerous families were displaced after strong winds damaged their homes. Furthermore, disaster preparedness before the Katrina hurricane influenced the extent of damage felt by aging populations (Jenkins, Laska & Williamson, 2007). While young individuals moved to safer grounds, older adults did not have the means to leave their homes; hence, they were at a higher risk of losing their lives.

Moreover, responses during the hurricane showed states’ awareness about natural crises. Morial and Superdome centers provided shelters for seniors (Jenkins, Laska & Williamson, 2007). Markedly, people in the shelters encountered numerous difficulties because the facilities exceeded their carrying limit. Since the two locations were not enough to provide adequate safety to the people that had been evacuated, some elderly individuals died. To ensure future wellness, governments should build more nursing homes to ensure that the aged are safe and can acquire medical help. Lastly, the recovery phase ensures that individuals who are affected physically or mentally access help and specialized care to address their specific needs (Jenkins, Laska & Williamson, 2007). Markedly, many victims have no place to go in search of treatment; hence, they need nursing facilities

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