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Disasters and Public Health: Learning from Recent History. Richard Keller, PhD Dept. of Medical History and Bioethics University of Wisconsin-Madison firstname.lastname@example.org. Public Health and the History of Disasters.
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Richard Keller, PhD
Dept. of Medical History and Bioethics
University of Wisconsin-Madison
In your opinion, are there any practical things that can be done to enhance a community’s resilience prior to the experience of a disaster?
This presentation will help participants:
Bhopal and Katrina
Much study of disaster is conducted in fields such as physical geography, geology, seismology, volcanology, meteorology, toxicology.
Great Sumatra/ Andaman Earthquake
Recent episodes demonstrate importance of understanding social and cultural dimensions of disaster.
In your opinion, which of the following are victims of a disaster?
A. Someone stranded on a rooftop by a flood
B. Someone who drowns in a flood
C. Someone displaced by a flood, who commits suicide years later
D. All of the above
In your opinion, which of the following goals of public policy is most important to your local community’s resilience in the face of a disaster?
A. Robust local economic/commercial activity
B. Equity of social and physical infrastructures
C. Community cohesion and social integration
D. Clear plans for disaster response
Deaths by Age and Sex, 1–20 August 2003
Artisan, skilled labor
Other than top floor
Shower and bath
Departure from home
Regular, no reason specified
Seeking a cool place
Rare (weekly or less)
More than daily
Every other day
Media exposure: TV/Radio
Degree of social interaction
Frequency of visitors
Never or rarely
2–4 x weekly
Daily or more
No social activity
No social interaction
Top floor of building
No bath facilities
“You know, the elderly, they don’t have very good memories, often from one moment to another, so the preventive messages that we could air…well, they’d forget them the same day!”
—Jean-François Mattéi 15 August 2003
Problem: “Biological citizenship” and cultures of reparation
Chernobyl memorial, Vilnius. Photo: Alma Pater
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