Public health issues in disasters

Crit Care Med. 2005 Jan;33(1 Suppl):S29-33. doi: 10.1097/01.ccm.0000151064.98207.9c.


Objective: This article outlines a number of important areas in which public health can contribute to making overall disaster management more effective. This article discusses health effects of some of the more important sudden impact natural disasters and potential future threats (e.g., intentional or deliberately released biologic agents) and outlines the requirements for effective emergency medical and public health response to these events.

Conclusion: All natural disasters are unique in that each affected region of the world has different social, economic, and health backgrounds. Some similarities exist, however, among the health effects of different natural disasters, which if recognized, can ensure that health and emergency medical relief and limited resources are well managed.

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Disease Control / organization & administration
  • Disaster Planning / organization & administration*
  • Disasters*
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration
  • Food Services / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Mass Vaccination / organization & administration
  • Public Health Practice*
  • Relief Work / organization & administration*
  • Sanitation / methods