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Potentially vulnerable population groups in disasters include the elderly and frail, people who are isolated, and those with chronic diseases, including mental health conditions or mobility issues. The disasters such as the Queensland flood and Great East Japan Disaster in 2011, affected regions of Australia and Japan. This study is followed by two pilot studies in both countries after the disasters. While both countries have different evacuation center procedures for evacuees, the issues regarding the role and responsibility across governments involving planning, setup, and management of evacuation centers demonstrate similarities and differences.
This paper will report the preliminary findings of a pilot study undertaken with local government officials and humanitarian agencies in Australia and Japan concerning their involvement in planning for, setting up, and managing evacuation centers for vulnerable populations in recent natural disasters. The objective is to illuminate the similarities and differences that officials and agencies faced, and to highlight the resolutions and lessons learned in the preparation of evacuation centers through this event.
This is the final stage of the study. After completing an analysis of both phases, a comparative framework to highlight similarities and differences was developed.
Each government’s role in relation to the establishment of evacuation centers is legally defined in both countries. However, the degree of involvement and communication with non-governmental organizations from the planning cycle to the recovery cycle demonstrates different expectations across governments.
While the role of governments is clearly established in both countries based on the legal frameworks, the planning, set-up, and management of evacuation center differs.
The Nankai Trough, marking the boundary between the Eurasian Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate, is forecasted to create a tragic earthquake and tsunami within 30 years.
To clarify the gap between medical supplies and demand.
Collected the data of the estimation of injured persons from each prefecture throughout Japan, and also the number of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and High Care Unit (HCU) beds in Japan from the Ministry of Health database. We re-calculated the number of severe cases based on official data. Moreover, we calculated the number of beds of hospitals with the capacity to receive severe patients.
The total number of disaster base hospitals is 723 hospitals with 6556 ICU beds, and 545 hospitals have 5,248 HCU beds throughout Japan. When the Nankai Trough earthquake occurs, 187 disaster base hospitals would be located in the area with seismic intensity 6-upper on the Japanese Seismic Intensity Scale of 0-7, and 79 disaster base hospitals would be located in the tsunami inundation area. The estimated total number of injured persons is 661,604 including 26,857 severe cases, 290,065 moderate cases, and 344,682 minor cases.
Even if all ICU and HCU beds are usable for severe patients, there will be 15,053 more beds needed. The Cabinet Office of Japan assumes that 60% of hospital beds would not be able to be used in an area of the seismic intensity of 6-upper. If 80% of beds are used in the non-disaster time, the number of beds which are usable at the time of a disaster will decrease more. The beds needed for severe patients would be significantly lacking when the Nankai Trough earthquake occurs. It will be necessary to start treatment of the severe patients who are “more likely to be saved more.”
Potentially vulnerable population groups in disasters include the elderly and frail, people who are isolated, and those with chronic diseases, including mental health conditions or mobility issues. The 2011 Queensland flood disaster affected central and southeast Queensland, resulting in 2.5 million people being adversely affected. Seventy-two local government areas disaster were activated under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, which was more than 99 percent of Queensland. The issues regarding the role and responsibility across governments relating to planning, setup, and management of evacuation centers will be discussed.
This paper will report the preliminary findings of a pilot study undertaken with local government officials and humanitarian agencies in Australia concerning their involvement in planning for, setting up, and managing evacuation centers for vulnerable populations in Australia during the Queensland floods in 2011. The objective is to illuminate the challenges officials faced, and the resolutions and lessons learned in the preparation of evacuation centers through this event.
The study involved interviews with local government and relevant agencies’ officials who have been involved in establishing evacuation centers for vulnerable populations during the 2011 floods. Six officials were recruited from local government areas affected by the disaster in Queensland, Australia. Semi-structured phone interviews were audio-recorded and thematic analysis was conducted using NVivo software.
Three core themes emerged: 1) understanding of the importance of preparation, 2) challenging evacuation center environments, and 3) awareness of good governance principles.
This pilot study demonstrated that communication with stakeholders during the preparation period prior to a disaster is essential to best practice for evacuation center management. Understanding and being aware of good governance is also an important element to establish evacuation centers effectively.
Japan International Cooperation Agency has started the project for strengthening the ASEAN regional capacity on disaster health management (ARCH Project) since 2016. This project conducted the start-up regional collaboration drill in ASEAN. All participants from ASEAN countries realized the need for a standardized assessment tool. Several UN agencies and international organizations launched assessment tools, but there is no standard assessment tool.
To develop an integrated rapid health needs assessment (HNA) tool in the ASEAN region. This paper reports the development process of the HNA tool.
The project established the project working group (PWG) to developing some tools. PWG consisted of the expert team, project team, Japanese Advisory group and twenty delegates from ten ASEAN member states. PWG established the cycle of the developing process of the HNA tool.
We created a health needs assessment form and a summary form. The assessment form consists of (1) Informant information, (2) Site information, (3) Overall situation of the site, (4) Public health, (5) Health facility damage. The summary form consists of (1) Informant information, (2) Site information, (3) Critical areas for support, (4) Situation of the site.
Frequently, the public health emergency operation center in an affected country is not able to obtain the critical information of an affected area in the acute phase of disasters. This HNA tool would be used in the acute phase by the Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs) because the EMT has mobility and workforce for assisting the affected country. We have agreed on the usage of the assessment form as a kind of an “interview guide”. The purpose of this assessment form is to assess a disaster situation. The next step will be to provide more opportunities for the ASEAN member states to use and learn more about this HNA form.