In the aftermath of Hurricane Hanna, the region struggles to recover. In particular, the utility companies are proceeding to restore power in the conditions of catastrophic flooding while state governments and the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] (n.d.) provide emergency supplies to the survivors. FEMA (n.d.) also reports that the hurricane resulted in more than 1,000 deaths. The recovery team needs to consider the above-mentioned issues, as well as the damage to the environment and community, to determine the appropriate strategies.
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The consequences of the hurricane that were described by FEMA (n.d.) suggest possible long-lasting environmental issues. First, the flooding implies damage to soil, which is especially problematic for agricultural activities. Second, winds and tornadoes must have affected woods, vegetation, and livestock. Finally, the leakage of chemicals and sewage from treatment plants is exceedingly likely to have contaminated water outside of the public supplies. Overall, the mentioned outcomes are relatively common for hurricanes (United States Environmental Protection Agency, n.d.). However, FEMA (n.d.) does not report these consequences specifically. As a result, certain team members, especially the health department official, need to gather the information on the actual damage to the environment and its potential impact on the community and manage appropriate recovery activities.
Another important consequence of the hurricane is its impact on the community’s ability to function during the recovery. FEMA (n.d.) states that at least a week is needed before the power can be restored and that some neighborhoods are unreachable. There is also the contaminated water issue and food shortages. The community has united their efforts in the attempts to recover: the states offer supplies, the water contamination issue is being resolved, and housing is provided by responders. However, the situation is admittedly dire, and the recovery team needs to contribute. In particular, the emergency response team is likely to be involved in finding the means to contact and help the people in unreachable neighborhoods, the nurse and emergency room manager will respond to the direct healthcare needs of the community, and the health department official will manage the resources, including the mentioned team members.
Communication strategy is crucial for the support of the community (Maurer & Smith, 2013). Given the power issues and the existence of cut-off neighborhoods, all available channels need to be employed. From this perspective, the roles of the health department official and nurse manager are especially important due to their decision-making power and resources. However, the rest of the team members also need to be involved in communication; in particular, they should engage in regular debriefing (for the officials to gather the information for decision-making) and provide vital knowledge to the survivors.
Similarly, healthcare and support services (including psychological support) are extremely important during this stage of response (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2015). Two of the team members (the nurse and the leader of the emergency response team) are directly involved in providing relevant services, which is why their role in the process is central. In turn, the manager and health department official need to empower the nurse and leader to perform their roles by providing the necessary resources and instructions and managing their efforts. The chosen strategies need to be based on the information gained through debriefing and focus on distributing human resources effectively to ensure the coverage of the region and prioritization of the needs of the neighborhoods.
In summary, all the mentioned team members have their roles in the preparation of the community to recover. The present paper demonstrates that they need to ensure collaboration and communication between themselves and within the community and focus on the most significant issues that need to be resolved. By gathering and disseminating the necessary information, managing available resources, and directly engaging in community support, the team will contribute to its recovery.
Federal Emergency Management Agency. (n.d.). FEMA hurricane video 3 transcript. Web.
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Maurer, F., & Smith, C. (2013). Community/public health nursing practice. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier/Saunders.
Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2015). Public health nursing. New York, NY: Elsevier.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.). Hurricanes. Web.