Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief
Today, tens of millions of Americans — the most since the Great Depression — are out of work and struggling to put food on the table for their families. The restaurant industry, the nation’s second largest employer, has suffered devastating job and revenue losses.
Every large-scale public health emergency, serious disease outbreak, natural catastrophe or man-made event is unique, confusing, messy and often outstrips local and state capacity. With the growing number and scale of emergencies there is an immediate need to swiftly identify and mobilize epidemiologists to respond. We rely on them to safeguard our health through surveillance, emergency response, and prevention efforts.
When Rosemarie Arante, recalls surviving 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan — one of the most difficult experiences of her life — the emotions are still raw.
“I don’t want to see … to remember …” she trails off as tears well up.
Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Super Typhoon Yolanda, was a Category 5 storm that hit the Philippines in 2013. With winds at more than 150 mph, Haiyan is still considered one of the most powerful typhoons of all time.
The coastal village of Lende Tovea is located at the epicenter of the earthquake that struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in September 2018. It was a town of 468 homes, until 187 came crashing down that day. Seven people died.
Celestina was sound asleep when the winds began to shake her simple home. Within minutes, the water rushed in and she realized that she and her baby were in grave danger.
What Celestina didn’t know was that she was in the middle of Cyclone Idai, one of the most powerful and deadly storms to ever hit Africa last March.
Living in rural Mozambique, she had no warning system and no way to prepare for the winds that reached 175 mph and floods that would displace more than 1.85 million people and claim more than a thousand lives.
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season emerged as the most damaging in recent history with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria causing destruction throughout Florida, Texas, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and other parts of the US and Caribbean. As we enter into the Season of Resilience we are reflecting on that period, long-term recovery and disaster preparedness. To start, read this story from Tina Beazer, Director for the Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands Long-term Recovery Program, as she looks back on Hurricane Maria.