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Public health response to biological and chemical weapons
This WHO publication is a guide to member states on preparedness for and response to the deliberate use of biological and chemical weapons. PAHO has published the Spanish language edition of this important publication. It is available in full text.
WHO Publication

Guidelines for vulnerability reduction in the design of new health facilities
In recent years it has been proved that even countries with limited financial resources can serve their populations well by providing them with health facilities resistant to natural hazards. this publication puts forward three potential levels of protection from adverse events and it is directed to health sector managers, professionals, and technical consultants entrusted with managing, designing, building, and inspecting new health facilities.

Protecting New Health Facilities from Natural Disasters
This publication is an overview of the Guidelines for Vulnerability Reduction in the Design of New Health Facilities and includes recommendations on how to promote their use among national authorities, planners and financing agencies involved in the development of these projects.

PAHO-WHO Guidelines for the Use of Foreign Field Hospitals in the Aftermath of Sudden-Impact Disasters
In July 2003, the World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization sponsored a workshop in El Salvador called "Hospitals in Disasters--Handle with Care" to discuss--among other subjects--the pros and cons of using foreign field hospitals in the aftermath of natural disasters. These guidelines are the result of that workshop.

Villa Centenario OPS - Chronicle of healthy housing after a disaster
The Villa Centenario OPS, an anti-seismic housing complex, was developed in El Salvador to benefit people affected by the earthquakes of January and February 2001. This publication relates the participation of the different actors who made possible, in El Salvador, the first experience in the Americas where a new vision is used to build healthy housing and human settlements. In Spanish only

Epidemiological surveillance in disaster situations: Guide for the local level
This guide provides an overview of local-level needs with regard to health information during emergency and disaster situations. It is a practical, simple, flexible tool that is appropriate for use throughout the Americas, if each country's characteristics and special features are taken into account. It has been produced within the framework of a multi-country project in Central America to reduce vulnerability to disasters in areas affected by Hurricane Mitch. In Spanish only.

Volcanoes: Protecting the Public Health
A short technical guide is now available to accompany the new video on volcanoes "Health Planning for Volcanic Crisis". Both the video, and now the guide, focus on the principal health hazards of volcanic eruptions, together with the basic planning measures the health sector can and should take to reduce potential effects. The guide is intended to serve as reference material that can be consulted before, during or after viewing the program. The text of the guide has been modified and adapted from the original video script.

The Role of Laboratories and Blood Banks in Disaster Situations
Laboratories serving national public health systems, clinical laboratories and blood banks should always be included in the health sector’s emergency plans for disaster situations. This book is written for health authorities and directors and technical personnel in laboratories and blood banks. It provides guidelines to sensitive and orient health authorities, laboratory directors, laboratory technicians and blood bank personnel to the identification of responsibilities and functions of laboratory and blood bank services when faced with disaster situations, taking into consideration priorities, needs, and the capacity for immediate disaster response at the local level.
laboratories.htm laboratories.pdf

Health Services Organization in the Event of Disaster
However timely the health sector's response to a disaster may be, its effect may be cancelled out if the effort is disorganized or fragmented. This manual presents parameters for a tiered system of health care and appropriate techniques for coordinated and rational response. Aimed at the physician, the paramedic, and the health administrator, this manual provides general guidelines for the organization of health services and standards for treating mass casualties in disaster situations. To access the book in full-text visit the Health Library for Disasters. If you would like to buy a copy of the book visit the Bookstore .

SUMA Booklet
This booklet highlights the most important features of SUMA, the supply management system, developed as a technical information management and coordination tool, which became a symbol of transparency in dealing with humanitarian supplies.

SUMA in El Salvador: Transparent Humanitarian Aid (only in Spanish)
FUNDESUMA published a special document devoted to the experience of using SUMA during the earthquakes of El Salvador in January and February 2001. The report includes expert testimony, excellent graphics describing how the system operates, statistics and an explanation of the different procedures in the reception of donations.
only in Spanish

Humanitarian Supply Management and Logistics in the Health Sector
This book provides guidelines to handle this process. As a practical guide, it points out that countries and organizations should incorporate the topic of logistics into their planning and preparedness for disasters. It also underlines that each step in the supply chain should be seen as a critical and interrelated link in the chain. If you would like to buy a copy of the book visit the Bookstore.

Impact of the Disasters on the Public Health (only in Spanish)
It is a very well documented book that provides excellent information on the causes, history, frequency, duration and consequences of the largest and most frequently occurring disasters in the world. It is a book that will be very useful in the library of anyone involved in the area of disasters.
Online Bookstore

Huracán Mitch: Una mirada a algunas tendencias temáticas para la reducción de riesgo en América Central (only in Spanish)
This collection of papers was written by different experts following the impact of Hurricane Mitch in Central America in October 1998. From regional and community perspectives, the authors describe how communities were organized, how they dealt with stress during the crisis, and how they participated in the daily process of making decisions on reducing further risk. The authors evaluate the role of international cooperation and of Central America's civil society in the process of rebuilding following the hurricane. To access the book in full-text visit the Health Library for Disasters.

Natural Disasters: Protecting the Public
While it is impossible to prevent natural disasters, the health sector can fulfill a major role in reducing their impact. This publication presents guidelines to weaken a disaster's worst ravages on the population's health. To access the book in full-text visit Natural Disasters. If you would like to buy a copy of the book visit the Bookstore.

Humanitarian Assistance in Disaster Situations: Guide for Effective Aid
This book offers recommendations for donors and beneficiaries in making their decisions to maximize the benefits in the short and long terms for the countries affected by natural and complex disasters. This Guide provides strong evidence that humanitarian assistance can considerably benefit a country ravaged by disaster if it responds with real needs. It combines and updates several publications that PAHO has published in the last 15 years. To access the book in full-text visit Humanitarian Assistance in Disaster Situations. If you would like to buy a copy of the book visit the Bookstore .

Conclusions and Recommendations of the Meeting on Evaluation of Preparedness and Response to Hurricanes Georges and Mitch, 1999
More than 400 professionals from 48 countries met at this meeting to identify lessons learned with regard to the preparedness for and response to two of the most devastating hurricanes of the last decades: Georges and Mitch.

Radiación: antes, durante y despues de las situaciones de emergencia radiológica (only in Spanish)
This publication was originally published in English by WHO and has been translated and adapted for readers in Latin America and the Caribbean. It contains guidelines on developing the response capacity for radiation accidents in the Americas, and is especially tailored for local authorities. It is a useful reference for developing educational plans, preparedness measures, response plans, and mitigation programs for nuclear or radiation accidents. To access the book in full-text visit the Health Library for Disasters.

Accidentes químicos: Aspectos relativos a la salud. Guía para la preparación y respuesta (only in Spanish)
Three documents are included in this publication: the General Guidelines, which will assist in the development of effective policies for preparing and responding to chemical accidents; the Practical Guidelines, which are more detailed and meant for the operative sector; and the Final Summary, which has a checklist of essential measures for planning and carrying out prevention, preparedness, and response activities specific to chemical accidents. To access the book in full-text visit Accidentes químicos. If you would like to buy a copy of the book visit the Bookstore .

A World Safe from Natural Disasters: The Journey of Latin America and the Caribbean
This book focuses on the development of disaster management in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, from defeatist acceptance of disasters to determinedness in implementing preparedness and mitigation measures. It provides a great number of examples and experiences developed during the 80’s and 90’s in this Region.

Establishing a Mass Casualty Management System
Many lives have been lost in mass casualty situations because resources were not mobilized efficiently. This book focuses on the involvement of police, firefighters, Red Cross volunteers, health center and hospital staff. If these professionals form part of the structure that we refer to as the mass casualty management "system" in this publication, they can positively contribute to saving lives.

Simulacros hospitalarios de emergencia (only in Spanish)
This guide is based on experiences gained in the preparation and execution of emergency simulations in various countries of Latin America. Its aim is to help prepare hospital administrators and health workers for emergencies and disaster situations. It addresses the theories behind emergency simulations and provides a simple model for developing these exercises, which can be adapted to individual hospitals or health centers. To access the book in full-text visit the Health Library for Disasters.

Guidelines for Assessing Disaster Preparedness in the Health Sector
These guidelines emphasize the most important aspects of preparing the health sector to respond in disaster situations. It provides a practical approach for developing evaluation standards, methods of measuring achievements, and technical recommendations for strengthening disaster preparedness and response programs. To access the book in full-text visit the Health Library for Disasters.

Assessing Needs in the Health Sector after Floods and Hurricanes
The establishment of a standard methodology for rapid disaster assessment in the event of hurricanes and flooding is the subject of this publication. The author provides detailed checklists of questions that must be asked by teams assessing both immediate and long-term risks to a population in the areas of communicable disease, environmental sanitation, food and nutrition, and vectors. Recommendations are made for likely sources of information in these areas. To access the book in full-text visit the Health Library for Disasters. If you would like to buy a copy of the book visit the Bookstore.

Epidemiologic surveillance after natural disasters
This book summarizes the scientific basis and experience in surveillance and control of communicable diseases following a disaster. It covers the potential for disease outbreaks, the establishment of surveillance systems, operational aspects of disease surveillance, and environmental health management activities. This manual will be of use for technical personnel involved in disaster response and mitigation activities, epidemiologists, specialists in disease control, sanitary engineers, and physicians. To access the book in full-text visit the Health Library for Disasters. If you would like to buy a copy of the book visit the Bookstore .

Environmental Health Management after Natural Disasters
This book is recommended for those responsible for planning and executing environmental sanitation measures following disasters. It outlines the impact that different types of natural disasters may have on environmental health and identifies areas that should be addressed both in anticipation of disasters and during an event. It also includes information on the repair and restoration of basic services. Annexes describe how to prepare an emergency plan for environmental health operations; measures for restoring safe sanitation conditions, including necessary measures to be taken after populations are evacuated; environmental health issues in temporary settlements and camps; and guidelines on the use of different types of water disinfectants. To access the book in full-text visit the Health Library for Disasters. If you would like to buy a copy of the book visit the Bookstore.

Emergency Vector Control after Natural Disasters
This publication provides guidelines on the prevention of vector-borne diseases after natural disasters, and will be of interest to senior technical officers responsible for emergency response management and readers with a background in public health. The book focuses on surveillance and control activities prior to disasters, and measures to be taken during and immediately following an event. It also includes information and techniques for the control of specific vectors, such as Aedes aegypti, anophelines, flies, rodents, etc. To access the book in full-text visit the Health Library for Disasters. If you would like to buy a copy of the book visit the Bookstore.

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