COPING WITH NATURAL DISASTERS: THE ROLE OF LOCAL HEALTH PERSONNEL AND THE COMMUNITY
( By A Working Guide (WHO - OMS, 1989) )

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Chapter 5.Evacuation of the population

When an area is under an imminent threat of disaster (flood, cyclone, tidal wave, volcanic eruption), the competent authorities may order the evacuation of the population. The community’s emergency committee will be able to cooperate in the evacuation if it knows the details of how it will be carried out:


· the evacuation routes and the other routes that could be used if one or more of the planned routes became impracticable,

· the means of transport by land, water or air,

· the sites to which the evacuees can be taken and given shelter,

· arrangements to supply water, food and other necessities.


In the case of evacuation the local health personnel must concern themselves with ensuring, under the best possible conditions and with the collaboration of the families, the marshalling and transport of the sick, the disabled, the handicapped and other vulnerable persons. They will collaborate in providing the population with accurate information regarding the reasons for the evacuation and the ways in which it is to be carried out. They will help to reunite families. They will organize a health post on the site chosen for providing temporary shelter and from that post busy themselves with every aspect of managing the health problems that follow a disaster.

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