Hurricanes. Wildfires. Floods. Blackouts. We all like to think we would know what to do when a disaster or emergency strikes, but a new national poll shows that many adults over 50 haven’t taken key steps to protect their health and well-being in case of severe weather, long-term power outages or other situations.
Less than half have signed up for emergency warning systems offered by their community, which can give crucial information in case of storms, natural disasters, lockdowns, evacuation orders, public health emergencies and more. Continue reading
As Hurricane Dorian reaches closer to landfall in Florida or southern Georgia this weekend, we’ve updated our list of resources to help reporters connect with public health officials and other sources.
Excessive flooding and damage to local health infrastructure means people will be dealing with the public health effects of the storm for a while.
Even if you’re not reporting on an affected location, this may be a good time to ask some questions of your local public health leaders and write about disaster preparedness issues. Here are some resources to help craft those questions: Continue reading
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
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
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.
Residents of Texas will be dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey for a long time to come. Journalists will remain on the scene to tell the stories of what happened and the people whose lives have been changed.
For those in other parts of the country, this is a good time to cover disaster preparedness in your community. The report “Ready or Not? 2016” from the Trust for America’s Health measured health preparedness on a state-by-state basis and found that 26 states and Washington, D.C., scored a six or lower on 10 key indicators. Continue reading