Flood Disaster Lessons Used and Those Lessons That Still Needing Learning

In the aftermath of devastating floods in Iowa in the spring of 2008, some critical areas of improvement were identified. These improvements mainly dealt with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and how they reported updated flood maps to area residents and businesses, or the lack thereof at the time. Recent floods in Iowa in the spring of 2013 have given officials reason to take a look at how far they have come in disaster preparation and response in the past five years, according to an article by http://thealternativepress.com.

What They Are Doing Right

Lessons learned during the 2008 floods, as well as other disasters since then, have been put to practical use in various parts of the U.S. This is especially true in the healthcare field, which is always looking for ways to give patients the best care while ensuring their safety.

One such program, the Hospital Preparedness Program, or HPP, in New York helps put various recovery plans into action, as well as managing volunteers during a crisis, keeping up with the available hospital beds at any given moment, and providing other services vital to the operation of a modern healthcare facility, especially in a crisis.

Members of the HPP helped bring about many different disaster programs, many of which helped tremendously when Super Storm Sandy hit the New York area. One such program, the NYC Shelter in Place Assessment Project, helps hospitals identify their ability to shelter in place the most critically ill patients, who usually cannot be moved during extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy. Another, the Health Emergency Response Data System (HERDS) allows hospitals to determine the available beds they have for current patients, or those who might be transferred from another facility if needed.

What Still Needs Doing

Even after the more recent Superstorm Sandy, important lessons were learned that can be applied to future disasters. Some, such as the realization of the advantages garnered from community-based organizations just further proved that such organizations are on the right track, especially those that have had experience collaborating with other organizations, something that has proven itself vital during the disaster recovery process.

Another area needing improvement includes having a community organizer in place before a storm takes place. In this way, organizations have someone who has firsthand knowledge of the initial situation so that resources can be staged beforehand to best take advantage of them.


For more information about disaster lessons learned from recent flooding events, visit: http://thealternativepress.com/articles/for-a-crisisology-moving-forward-with-certitude