Natural and man-made disastersearthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, industrial crises, and many othershave claimed more than 3 million lives during the past 20 years, adversely affected the lives of at least 800 million people, and caused more than 50 billion dollars in property damages. A major disaster occurs almost daily in some part of the world. Increasing population densities in flood plains, along vulnerable coastal areas, and near dangerous faults in the earth's crust, as well as the rapid industrialization of developing economies are factors likely to make the threat posed by natural disasters much bigger in the future.
Illustrated with examples from recent research in the field, this book summarizes the most pertinent and useful information about the public health impact of natural and man-made disasters. It is divided into four sections dealing with general concerns, geophysical events, weather-related problems, and human-generated disasters. The author starts with a comprehensive discussion of the concepts and role of surveillance and epidemiology, highlighting general environmental health concerns, such as sanitation, water, shelter, and sewage. The other chapters, based on a variety of experiences and literature drawn from both developing and industrialized countries, cover discrete types of natural and technological hazards, addressing their history, origin, nature, observation, and control.
Throughout the book the focus is on the level of epidemiologic knowledge on each aspect of natural and man-made disasters. Exposure-, disease-, and health-event surveillance are stressed because of the importance of objective data to disaster epidemiology. In addition, Noji pays particular attention to prevention and control measures, and provides practical recommendations in areas in which the public health practitioner needs more useful information. He advocates stronger epidemiologic awareness as the basis for better understanding and control of disasters. A comprehensive theoretical and practical treatment of the subject, The Public Health Consequences of Disasters is an invaluable tool for epidemiologists, disaster relief specialists, and physicians who treat disaster victims.
This book examines disastersphenomena that seem to be increasing in importance and frequency in modern life and that touch nearly everyone at some point in their lives. However, this book does not emphasize the scientific or technical aspects of disasters, but rather focuses on their epidemiological characteristics. It is the contributing factors as well as prevention and control measures for a wide variety of natural and manmade disasters that are the focus of this book. "These are topics of great interest and importance to many health professionals who are called on to plan for or respond to various types of disasters. "These topics are increasingly important to public health and voluntary organization officials as well as for students of public health and public administration. The authors are largely credible authorities; many work for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "The book generally uses tables, graphs, and charts appropriately, although there is considerable variation from one contributed chapter to another. A consistent framework is used for each type of disaster; here, too, the focus and degree of detail varies from chapter to chapter. "This is an interesting compilation of public health aspects of important disaster phenomena. Topics include earthquakes, volcanoes, cyclones, tornadoes, hurricanes, heat and cold waves, floods, fires, famine, air pollution, industrial and nuclear reactor disasters, and refugee situations. The book serves a unique niche and should appeal to diverse audiences.