​Natural disaster management: experience of an academic institution

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Natural disaster management: experience of an academic institution after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Ecuador

This case study describes the implementation of an academic institution's disaster management plan. Study design: Case study. Methods: USFQ's Medical School developed a six-phase disaster relief plan consisting of: induction, establishing a base camp, crisis management and mental health aid, creation of multidisciplinary teams and multi-agency teams, and reconstruction.

Each phase uses a community-oriented approach to foster survivor autonomy and recovery. Results: Our methodology facilitated the successful implementation of multidisciplinary interventions to manage the earthquake's aftermath on the personal, community and regional levels, treated and prevented psychological and physical morbidity among survivors and promoted healthy living conditions and independence.

In conclusion, a multidisciplinary response team that addresses medical needs, mental health, education, food, nutrition and sanitation is highly effective in contributing to timely, effective relief efforts. The short- and long-term solutions we describe could be applicable to other academic centres' interventions in future disaster scenarios around the world. © 2016 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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