» Geographic Considerations
Designated evacuation clearings around the island will be marked and made known to the people who will utilize the site in case of an emergency. The familiarity of the village with their evacuation site will lessen the psychological trauma of the tsunami. The local officials from the village or town that will use the clearing will maintain the clearings monthly. Each evacuation clearing will be a permanent fully equipped workstation where the Evacuation Site Coordinator. Furthermore, the site will be accessible by heavy trucks from an all-weather road for loading of camp supplies. This is very important because Micronesia is subjected to tropical rainfalls year-round.1 Furthermore, the site should have two ventilated improved pit latrines built according to the book: The Design of Ventilated Improved Pit Latrine written by the United Nations development program.2
Evacuation sites farther inland will be designated for each part of the cities that would be affected by the tsunami. People will be made known of their designated evacuation sites. Evacuation sites in Peru will be urban sites like university campuses, stadiums, and hotels.
Each evacuation site will be equipped with diesel-powered generator, satellite phones, and a computer workstation with satellite uplink. Some diesel fuel will be safely stored on-site in a flameproof lockbox because it may be difficult to obtain during the emergency. The reason diesel-powered generators are optimal is they are relatively low-tech and easily maintained and fixed if broken. Special personnel will use the computer workstation for various purposes that will help run the evacuation camps. Furthermore, petroleum diesel engines can be fueled with biodiesel, which is cleaner and may be cheaper and easier to obtain than petroleum diesel in the future.3
1. CIA (2005 30 August) CIA The World Factbook: Federated States of Micronesia. Retrieved September 22, 2005.
2. Mara, D. Duncan, and Technology Advising Group (1984). The Design of Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines. United Nations Interregional Development Program Project.
3. National Biodiesel Board (2005). Biodiesel Basics. Retrieved October 29, 2005. Micronesia.
» Design of Evacuee Camps
In Micronesia evacuation sites will be in a clearing large enough for the occupation of 100-150 people and facilities. As for Peru the evacuation camps is in an urban environment. The field sites will vary in size from the size of soccer stadiums, to smaller sites like a public park. There will communal area designated for food distribution and preparation. This will also be the place where evacuees are debriefed about the operations of the camps and their status. There will also be an area used solely for shelters. The shelters will be arranged in rows or clusters of 10-12 along each side of a 10-meter wide road. 1 The wide road will allow easy access for vehicles such as ambulances or fire trucks. Refuse bin will be available throughout the campsite and emptied regularly. This will lessen the likelihood of human exposure to disease vectors (rats, mice). 1 It is very important that the latrines are at least 20 meters away from the kitchen, water supply and stores. These will decreases possible spread of diseases.1 Finally the site shall have a designated area for the bathing, laundry and disinfection facility to promote cleanliness and hygiene.1
1. WHO (2002) Environmental Health in Emergencies and Disaster: A Practical Guide. World Health Organization 2002, Geneva, Switzerland.
» Operation of Evacuee Camps
A trained local authority will be the Evacuation Camp Coordinator (ECC) in charge of running of the evacuation sites. The ECC will be in charged of coordinating efforts of workers and provide clear and comprehensive assessment of the relief efforts in the campsite4. This information will be sent via the satellite uplink to Incidence Command. Information from different camps will allow Incidence Command to allocate resources to the areas that most needed. Local authorities and able-bodied volunteers from the community will form the staff evacuation camps. At least one female staff will be present in each camp to ensure the needs of female evacuees are met.1 The staff will ensure that all the needs are addressed. Furthermore, a qualified medical professional will be onsite to ensure the wellbeing of evacuees and attend to any minor health complaints. He or she will also be in charged of on-site personal hygiene and health education of evacuees. Evacuees will be responsible for keeping the evacuation camps clean and notifying staff of any environmental or social problems.2
The evacuation procedure ensures that the maximum number, if not all, of the people in a facility or building are evacuated. For example, schools and hospitals will have a designated amount of their own personnel helping to evacuate the children and patients respectively. For these facilities, the personnel in charge of helping to evacuate a group of people will not only be willing, but will have the duty to do so. Our plan proposes that a law be passed that ensures that in these facilities, for every 8-12 patients, and or 15-20 students, at least one person will be in charge of making sure that they are helped on to faster transportation towards the evacuee camps. This law could be set up as a tsunami-safety code, so that when more people are employed to work at a building or facility like this, the employers must ensure that there are sufficient personnel that have agreed by contract to be in charge of these evacuation procedures. It is suggested that some sort of bonus pay will be granted to the workers who agree to this job upon the job’s completion. Yet, the bonus pay, if incorporated into the law, would command too much of the private facilities, thus it is only suggested. In this way the evacuation of people in a building, especially hospitals and schools will be much more efficient and reliable.
1. Sphere Project (2004) Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response. Sphere Project 2004, Geneva, Switzerland.
2. WHO (2002) Environmental Health in Emergencies and Disaster: A Practical Guide. World Health Organization 2002, Geneva, Switzerland.
» Population Database
For the purpose of tracking individuals in the event of a tsunami, an electronic database of the population must be kept and maintained regularly along with each census of the population. The information will include the legal name, birth date, residence, and family unit affiliation of each person. This information would be used for example to reunite family members in case of involuntary separation.
For the tracking of non-residents inside the country, customs and immigration will be in charge of maintaining a database of people entering and leaving the country. The database will include the individuals name, birth date, country of citizenship, and address of places he or she will be staying. Information about citizens leaving the country will also be available on the database.
In case of a natural disaster like the tsunami, the databases will be made accessible to only to appropriate personnel dealing with the tracking of survivors. A government official who is in charge of assessing disaster risk will determine the release of the databases to appropriate officials. In addition to officials in charged of tracking survivors, the databases would be made available to authorities of each evacuation sites for administrative purposes.
» Improvements to the Medical System
The medical infrastructures of Peru and Micronesia are very underdeveloped.1,2 Hospitals can are only found in large cities and even these hospitals usually are much below the necessary standards. Micronesia, for example, has only four hospitals distributed among the four major islands.3 In order to effectively deal with a health crisis involved with a tsunami these countries need to improve their existing healthcare system in general. It is more efficient and cost effective for existing hospitals to react in a disaster than to set up field hospitalss.4
Furthermore, medical personnel must be well informed and trained for large-scale emergency response. This will allow for immediate and effective local response to the disaster which will be crucial in providing primary services before international aide are able to mobilize and respond. International aide should not be relied upon because they may be slow and lack appropriate relief items.5
1. Hospital for Tropical Diseases (2005, August 9). Micronesia. Retrieved September 23, 2005.
2. Hospital for Tropical Diseases (2005, August 9). Peru. Retrieved September 23, 2005.
3. U.S Department of State (July 19, 2005) Consular Information Sheet: Micronesia, Federated States of. Retrieved October 29, 2005.
4. Sphere Project (2004) Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response. Sphere Project 2004, Geneva, Switzerland.
5. Smith, Keith (2001). Environmental Hazards: Assessing Risk and Reducing Disaster. London, England: Routledge.
» Minimum Staffing Standards for Central Health Facilities
Hospitals will be the Central Health Facility during the tsunami and serve a community of approximately 50,000 people. It should at least consist of five qualified health workers (physicians, nurses, clinical officer, or medical assistant). It should also have a staff of at least, one doctor, one qualified health worker per 20-30 beds for in-patient care, one qualified health worker per 50 consultations per day, and one non-qualified health work for administering oral rehydration therapy. This standard is according to the Sphere Project handbook on "Minimum Standards in Heath Services" in disaster response and should be met for areas with at least 50,000 people.
The change of the medical infrastructure takes time and large amounts of funding.1 In the meantime, Peru and Micronesia need to be ready in case of a tsunami. Therefore, hospitals and clinics should be prepared with the New Emergency Medical Kit outlined by the World Health Association.1 Each hospital will be stocked with an Emergency Medical Kit and the Supplementary Unit. The medical kits are designed for aid of 10,000 people for 3 months. This kit is the product of years of research by the WHO of essential drugs and medical supplies for disaster response and has been adopted by many organizations for its effectiveness in emergency situations.2 This will eliminate the situation of relying on donated resources, which may not be up to standards (e.g. poorly labeled or expired drugs). Some essential contents of the kit include gauze and bandage to dress wounds and general antibiotics and analgesics.2
Water, although absolutely necessary for survival, can also be the medium through which disease spreads. This is why we need to assess both availability and quality of the water supply provided to individuals in the emergency camps.
The most important part of preparation in terms of water supply for the tsunami is to come up with a plan. Both Micronesia and Peru need to establish a committee that will prepare for the disaster. The chair of this committee should be in contact with the Food Commissioner of that country. The members of this committee should be well versed in hydrology and have a background dealing with the issues arising from the allocation of water supply and purification.
An individual consumes about fifteen liters of water per day.1 In the immediate days following the disaster, however, only the drinking water shall be addressed. Each country shall choose a retail supplier ahead of time and their water bottles should be stored in each depot (as described in the Food section) so that each person can receive three liters of this for at least three days in each of the emergency camp storage units.
Moreover, concrete filters for the BioSand filter2 need to be stored. Since it filters water with a rate of sixty liters per hour and individuals need about three liters per day, the required amount of filters needs to be calculated according to the number of people expected at a certain emergency shelter. Buckets (the amount should be proportional to the number of households/living groups expected) for the water also need to be stored. The water filtered from using BioSand filters should be used for drinking purposes only.
Water needed for cooking and hygienic purposes will come from the prepared wells that will be created a couple of days after the disaster strikes (see Implementation). The filtration procedure for this water should include debris filtration and disinfection. With the availability of safe drinking and cleaning water, we hope that disease from this source will be prevented.
1. The Sphere Project. Electronic reference handbook. Retrieved October 23, 2005.
2. BioSand Filter Water Treatment. (2005). Prepared by the Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology. Retrieved on October 22
Historically, Peru has counted on relief from the UN, Chile, and USAID among others for emergency food.1 However, to ensure more rapid distribution and to be prepared for a tsunami of greater magnitude, Peru needs local food storage, better coordination, and more national food depots. Since Micronesia has traditionally relied on US aid, Micronesia lacks a plan for emergency food2. Both Peru and Micronesia need better planning for emergency food rations.
» Distribution Infrastructure
If this planning is left for after the tsunami hits, at the very least, a temporary chaos will precede any relief. In each country, a relief commissioner should be appointed3. This official would evaluate food needs after the disaster and coordinate the different governmental and private agencies in charge of food distribution. A deputy should also be appointed. This deputy must have full authority while the commissioner is traveling or is incapacitated. It is critical that before a disaster, the commissioner’s staff designates people who would take on special duties after a tsunami. In each region, a group of government workers must be selected to perform administrative duties in the event of a tsunami. School workers and civil servants should be assigned to the administrative work for food distribution since their everyday duties are of a similar nature and since the government normally employs them4. Finally, hotel, club, and restaurant workers must be assigned to help in initial mass-feeding centers since their everyday jobs deal with serving large groups of people.5
» Serving Food
Food can be served hot and prepared to those affected. However, we recommend mass feeding only in the first few days, since historically, victims prefer to have their own food and prepare it in their own style.6 Many people are so devastated that the added stress of a mass-feeding center results in these people not eating at all. The second possibility is high-energy bars similar to Power bars. However, since these people are not in starvation stage, these unfamiliar, foreign bars will not be well received. Thus, although they have the advantage of a 3-year shelf life, we do not suggest using energy bars as a primary food source.7 Most optimal seems the distribution of dry grains and foods already familiar to the recipients. They will feel comfortable eating the food and will also require no education about preparation methods.
» Supply Depots
Each locality should store a 3-day supply of goods that would be used before the disaster response routes would be cleared for national and international relief.8 Each locality will build a food storage depot near the planned evacuation sites. Money for construction should come from the local budget if possible, but with national or international funds if necessary. National storage depots will store enough food for those below the level of inundation. These supplies would be tapped after the initial 3 days and supplement international aid from the World Food Programme, Red Cross, USAID and neighboring countries. Both coastal Peruvian and Micronesian diets contain fish, so dried fish should be stored since this is an easily stored protein source. The depots should also store parboiled rice, small-seeded millet, and bulgur since these foods are widely eaten and also store the best in warm climates.9 In addition, taro and yam should be stored in Micronesia, since these easily stored foods are prevalent in the Micronesian diet. Likewise, potatoes should be stored in Peru. To ensure the food does not spoil, an annual turnover is required. At this time, the government should auction off the food or otherwise try to raise some money to help offset the cost of buying the next year’s store. Each storage center (both national and regional) will have sacks, wire, and non-electronic machine to seal bags, since it will not be feasible to acquire these security devices in an emergency situation.10 Finally, some NGO’s such as the Red Cross have their own private stores. The relief commissioner should have a database of private stores so that the quantity and location of this food is known and could be requested in the event of a tsunami.
The supply depots must also store some type of fuel source. Options such as oil, kerosene, and wood are poor, because of the cost and inherent danger of storage. Both Micronesia and Peru enjoy many hours of sunlight, and thus, solar cookers would be an easy and long-lasting solution to the fuel problem. We suggest that high schools in both countries teach stove usage.
1. Peru: Earthquake Fact Sheet #3 - OFDA-03 (2001). U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT BUREAU FOR HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE (BHR) OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA) PERU. Retrieved October 1, 2005 from http://www.cidi.org/disaster/01a/ixl218.html
2. Meesook, K. (1995). IMF economic reviews: Marshall islands and federated states of micronesia. Washington, D.C. , U.S.: International Monetary Fund, Publication Services.
3. Masefield, G. B. (1967). Food and nutrition procedures in times of disaster. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
4. Masefield, G. B. (1967). Food and nutrition procedures in times of disaster. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
5. Masefield, G. B. (1967). Food and nutrition procedures in times of disaster. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
6. Eade, D., & Williams, S. (1995). Oxfam handbook of development and relief: Volume 2. Oxford, UK: Oxfam.
7. High-energy, nutrient-dense emergency relief food product(2002). In Subcommittee on Technical Specifications for a High-Energy Relief Ration, Committee on Military Nutrition Research, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. (Ed.), . Washington, D.C.
8. Judson, Brad. “Re: food rations.” Email to Brad.Judson@gov.bc.ca. Retrieved October 2, 2005.
9. Masefield, G. B. (1967). Food and nutrition procedures in times of disaster. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
10. Masefield, G. B. (1967). Food and nutrition procedures in times of disaster. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.