Management of Dead Bodies after Disasters: A Field Manual for First Responders. Second (revised) Edition
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[Foreword]. Natural disasters can have catastrophic consequences, causing large numbers of deaths and overwhelming local and even regional emergency response services. Local organizations and communities are usually the first to respond to a disaster, which includes rescuing and caring for survivors and managing the dead. The humanitarian community recognizes that proper management of the dead is a key component of disaster response, together with the recovery and care of survivors and the supply of basic services. Experience from events such as the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines have reaffirmed that first responders – including local residents and volunteers – play an important role in managing the remains of those killed. These first responders throughout the world need simple, practical and easy-to-follow guidelines, ensuring that they can carry out this task in a proper and dignified way. This includes taking the necessary steps to aid future work by forensic specialists and investigators in identifying human remains and clarifying the fate of the missing. Such guidance is also necessary for planning adequate disaster preparedness. The first edition of this manual was published in 2006 precisely to respond to those needs. It marked an important practical step towards improving management of the dead in disasters, promoting an understanding of why proper and dignified management of the dead in disasters is important, and helping people to recognize the role of first responders in this task.1 The manual has since been in steady demand worldwide. It is now available in several languages and has shown its utility in major disasters and mass fatality events around the world. It has become a source of reference for many mass fatality response plans. Although it was drafted and designed for contexts where forensic services are scarce or non-existent, it has also been well received, including as a useful tool for disaster preparedness, in countries with well-resourced and highly developed forensic services and disaster response agencies. It may take days for the experts to reach areas affected. The work of first responders as set out in this manual makes the work of the experts more effective...This new edition of the manual retains the spirit and purpose of the original publication and recognizes the valuable contribution of first responders in managing the dead in disasters. The manual provides simple, practical and useful guidance for this difficult yet essential task.
Category of PAHO Strategic Plan 2014-2019
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