Protecting your home and community

Introduction to Public Health Disasters Blog

Public Health Disasters Blog collects and communicates information about preparing for hazards that affect the health and well-being of large groups of people. By giving examples from history and current events, it illustrates the importance for individuals, neighborhoods, communities, and governmental agencies to address potential threats by planning for their preparation, response, and restoration.

The blog also includes notes and commentary on history, policy, politics, logistics and planning about the kinds of threats humanity faces in general, and particularly those that face North America. All hazards are dealt with, but the main areas of focus will be the five “-icals” and an “-ial”: meteorological, geological/hydrological, biological, radiological, and industrial. It would be naive to parse adverse events and threats dogmatically into these categories. This blog does not cover terrorist threats, as there are many blogs that cover them. However, we tweet about these issues at prepareblog.

Nature and humanity are a complex system with positive and negative feedback loops. For example, fracking and other methods of removing materials from the soil and land substrates are well-known to cause geological events, such as subsidence and earth tremors. Industrial, agricultural and municipal water use affect the weather, and vice-versa. Industrial-scale release of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere has created and sustained changes in the climate which affect societies around the globe, from arctic and subarctic dwellers to tropical and subtropical peoples. Likewise, climate change, global industrialization, and modern transportation are affecting the spread of infectious disease, by expanding the range that disease vectors can move through, and by transporting hitchhiking vectors to new places. And the debate over limiting burning of hydrocarbons has fueled debate about expanding the use of nuclear reactors, despite their obvious fragility, particularly in the face of adverse natural events.

We welcome you to make comments and suggestions about the site, and to suggest story ideas and coverage.


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