Personal Reflections on Emergency Preparedness and the Response to A Major Natural Disaster: Hurricane Katrina

  • N. E. McSwainJr


The aftermath/response of a disaster can be divided into four phases. The importance of each depends on the length of time and the resources required. This in turn depends on the length of the disaster, the area involved, the number of the population affected, the re-supply available, the extent of the devastation, and the size of the evacuation. The four phases are discussed using Hurricane Katrina as an example. The phases are:
  1. 1.

    Immediate: The initial time period when the facility has to exist, function, care for patients and staff, utilizing only supplies on hand prior to the emergency

  2. 2.

    Outside response: Plans developed to take advantage of outside resources brought in for the evacuation

  3. 3.

    Backfill: The time period when additional resources to manage the short term conditions become available to the institution

  4. 4.

    Restoration: Long term rebuilding of the medical community to restore the preemergency capabilities and function. This last phase is usually the longest and requires the most resources.



Emergency Medical Service Blow Down Emergency Preparedness Personal Reflection Emergency Medical Service Personnel 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. E. McSwainJr
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryTulane University School of MedicineNew OrleansUSA

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