Tag Archives: disaster

Have a plan before tragic news breaks, Las Vegas reporter says

Susan Heavey

About Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey, (@susanheavey) a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on social determinants of health and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on resources and tip sheets at determinants@healthjournalism.org.

Rachel Crosby, a metro reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, reviewed her Twitter feed from her coverage of the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas as part of her talk for Health Journalism 2018. The panel, “Finding organization in the chaos of mass violence,” offered a look at how journalists and health systems prepare and respond to mass tragedies.

Reporters everywhere increasingly must cover mass violence and other chaotic situations, and should make a plan before any news erupts, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Rachel Crosby told attendees at Health Journalism 2018.

Whether it’s a mass shooting, disease outbreak, natural disaster or other major event – take time now to figure out how your newsroom would report on it and how you can be best prepared, Crosby, a former crime reporter now on the metro desk, said at AHCJ’s annual conference in Phoenix. Continue reading

Puerto Rico’s elderly caught in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Robert Sullivan via FlickrA U.S. Army helicopter lands on the flight deck of the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort near San Juan, Puerto Rico.

It’s been more than a month since Hurricane Maria destroyed large portions of Puerto Rico, and knocked out power to just about the entire island. Some people could wait up to six months to regain electricity; that’s a recipe for multiple health crises, one that’s sure to hit the oldest and most vulnerable residents the hardest.

This issue was the focus of a Reuter’s story in late September, about a week after Maria made landfall. Continue reading

Hurricane Harvey proves to be test for telehealth services

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health, science and medicine for AFP, the Bay Area News Group, Modern Healthcare, Wired, Scientific American online and many other news outlets.

With clean-up efforts underway in the Houston area in the aftermath of devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, those affected by the storm will have access to medical providers from all over the country via telehealth.

Satisfaction and acceptance of telehealth by Harvey survivors could drive further adoption of online health services. Harvey is a big test of telehealth reach that we’ve not seen before. Continue reading

Health system disaster preparedness and data backup: Are hospitals in your community ready?

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health, science and medicine for AFP, the Bay Area News Group, Modern Healthcare, Wired, Scientific American online and many other news outlets.

Photo: National Weather Service

As the humanitarian crisis brought by Hurricane Harvey continues to unfold in Texas and Louisiana, health reporters are filing valuable stories on how hospitals in the region are holding up amid the devastating floods and displacement of thousands of residents.

You can read about how hospitals are coping in the Houston Chronicle, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Modern Healthcare and others.

Procedures and protocols put in place in Houston-area hospitals in recent years are being tested to the limit right now. Beyond hospital capabilities, displaced residents who fled rising waters in their homes are, in some cases, telling journalists they are without needed medications.

Continue reading

Disaster aftermath: Helping people to ensure Medicare benefits continue

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Eric Hackathorn via Flickr

Photo: Eric Hackathorn via Flickr

Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc on the southeastern United States. It left at least 43 people dead and forced many from their homes, due to rising rivers that flooded many communities. In parts of North Carolina, the storm was particularly cruel to lower income residents, reported The Washington Post.

Disasters like this may be hardest on older residents – who may not drive, have serious chronic health conditions or mobility problems. Older people who were forced to evacuate their homes may not have enough medication on hand, or may need ongoing, life-saving treatment, like dialysis. They may be at a loss in figuring out how to obtain needed care, but it is possible. Continue reading