Strategies of Disaster Response in the Health Care System for Tropical Cyclones: Experience Following Typhoon Nari in Taipei City

Authors

  • Ting-I Lai MD,

    1. Department of Emergency Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan (T-IL, F-YS, W-CC)
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Fuh-Yuan Shih MD,

    1. Department of Emergency Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan (T-IL, F-YS, W-CC)
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Wen-Chu Chiang MD,

    1. Department of Emergency Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan (T-IL, F-YS, W-CC)
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Shih-Tsuo Shen MD, MPH,

    1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Taipei Municipal Yang-Ming Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan (S-TS).
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Wen-Jone Chen MD, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Emergency Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan (T-IL, F-YS, W-CC)
      Department of Emergency, National Taiwan University Hospital, No. 7, Chung Shan South Rd., Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. Fax: 886-2-2322-3150; e-mail: tingi@ha.mc.ntu.edu.tw.
    Search for more papers by this author

Department of Emergency, National Taiwan University Hospital, No. 7, Chung Shan South Rd., Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. Fax: 886-2-2322-3150; e-mail: tingi@ha.mc.ntu.edu.tw.

Abstract

Natural disasters present significant potential for injuries and death. Unlike the experience of Hurricane Andrew that destroyed a vast surface area in the rural countryside, Typhoon Nari in Taipei proved that significant damages from natural disasters also can happen to modern health care systems in urban areas. To ameliorate such damages, specific structural, nonstructural, and administrative issues must be taken into account. Such issues include the location of the health facility, design of the infrastructure, storage of equipment and machines, maintenance, medical, and nonmedical operations. Specific considerations, such as early evacuation and securing the safety of the patients before a disaster, should be emphasized. Recovery plans that determine how soon medical service can be restored to the community should also be established. Emphasis on emergency-response preparedness, mitigation procedures, and recovery efforts should all be included in a comprehensive emergency plan against the destruction caused by natural hazards.

Ancillary