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Disaster Management Plan

Miami-Dade County has a high rate of cultural diversity. As pointed out by Healthy People (2016), the African-American community represents 19% of the area’s population, and as to the Hispanic and Latino residents, in Miami-Dade County, they comprise about 65.5% of the whole population and are the largest community. One of the primary individual health factors that affect the health of this population is the high percentage of individuals who do not possess health insurance. Such people are exposed to a variety of health risks that may easily turn into serious dangers and result in irreversible damage simply because the individuals do not receive timely medical help. For the same reason, many treatable problems and conditions may become overlooked because the patients are underserved and eventually turn into dangerous chronic issues. One more individual health factor is the personal choice of way of life and habits popular among the representatives of the community. An interpersonal factor that correlates with this individual factor is the social pressure that forces groups and individuals to choose an unhealthy and unsafe lifestyle that leads to such health risks as early onset of sex life, teenage pregnancies, and smoking among young people. This tendency occurs when the individuals live in closely connected communities and have a significant amount of influence on one another. As a result of such community life, the youth may become predisposed to follow the older generation’s footsteps and inherit the same harmful behaviors that result in health risks

 

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Besides, it is important to mention that the communities with lower English language knowledge and skills also are likely to have lower levels of health literacy and, because of that tendency, are heavily impacted by such health problems as sexually transmitted diseases (such as HPV and syphilis)- this factor can be recognized as an interpersonal health risk for the Hispanic female population as well. Another threat to the chosen population’s health is the low level of income that limits women’s access to healthcare (Healthy People, 2016).

Tackling the Risks

Limited access to medical help and service is one of the most serious public health challenges in Miami-Dade County. Healthy People (2016) initiative implements a program designed to address the underserved groups of the population with the help of students from various institutions and specialties including social work, nursing, education, law, and medicine. This program is called Neighborhood HELP. The participants are equipped with mobile medical centers and are able to perform mammograms, vaccinations, blood work, to name a few. Another program that addresses a serious health risk of the Hispanic female community in Miami-Dade is called Test Miami. This program helps to identify HIV rates in the community and provide help to the individuals affected by this and other STDs. Communities mobilized by this program are many educational, faith-based, and medical organizations.

Disaster Management Plan

List of Disasters for Miami-Dade County:

  • Hurricanes
  • Tropical storms
  • Floods
  • Fire hazards
  • Tornadoes

The disasters from this list are typical not only for Miami-Dade but for the whole state of Florida.

Handling Hurricanes

The first step in handling hurricanes that are predicted is to clean up the objects that could be carried away by the wind and cause damage to people in the streets and private property is to evacuate. Smaller objects may be disposed of individually using recycling centers while bulky trash requires a scheduled pickup by special removal services. Pruning the trees in the populated areas is another necessary measure that allows minimizing the amount of debris created by the hurricane and makes the areas affected by strong wind safer for people and vehicles. An approaching hurricane may be especially dangerous for certain areas. In this case, these districts would have to be evacuated. For this purpose, Miami-Dade has multiple evacuation centers and shelters for the populations displaced by the disaster. All the individuals who have to leave their homes and stay in the evacuation centers and shelters are to bring disaster supply kits with them. During the hurricane is it important that the population of the affected areas stays connected to the electricity to be able to see the news and check the weather forecasts. Staying indoors is crucial. Medical professionals are to be present at the shelters and evacuation centers at all times.

Handling Floods

Floods are the types of disasters that significantly complicate the reach to the patients and disaster victims for the rescuing teams and medical professionals. Prior to the time when the disaster strikes, it is crucial that all the teams of rescuers and medical professionals, the volunteers and medical facilities are equipped with boats. Since a flood is a disaster that often comes unpredictably (as it did when the hurricane Katrina hit), the plan of disaster management is to include the preparation for a possible flood as a necessary aspect. Flood is the type of disaster that gets worse over time. That way, the reaction of the safety organizations and disaster management groups is to be as quick as possible because the longer the emergency is left unresponded, the more damage it is likely to produce. Transportation is the crucial aspect of flood management as it creates the most significant issues concerning the speed with which the help is provided to the affected populations and areas, as well as the number of individuals it can cover. The important steps of the flood response include the preparation of equipment and the creation of teams of rescuers and volunteers, the evacuation of the affected districts, patrolling and search for the individuals who might have been left behind and require help. The provision of medical services and supplies to all of the areas where people affected or displaced by the disaster are sheltered is necessary.

Disaster Supply Kit

Disaster supply kits are needed during any type of disaster. It is best that all individuals dwelling in the affected areas have such kits regardless of the fact whether or not they are going to stay home or move to the evacuation center or a shelter to wait out the disaster.

The most crucial items to include in the disaster supply kits are medications (over the counter and prescription), first aid supplies, snacks, extra clothing and blankets, disposable raincoats (in case of a heavy rainfall), and drinking water. Some other important supplies to bring include child care items (such as formula, diapers, and toys), cash money, bedding, personal hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrush, towels, wet wipes, hand sanitizers, among others), objects for comfort and entertainment (crossword puzzles, magazines, books), personal ID, and the materials required for the members of the families who have disabilities or are elderly (Are You Ready?, 2015).

References

Are You Ready? (2015). Web.

Healthy People. (2016). NeighborhoodHELP™ Engages Underserved Communities to Increase Health Care Access.