Taking days and weeks for rescue, people have hours and minutes
When disaster strikes, people are vulnerable, even in this modern age. The flight distance from Florida to Haiti is about 681 miles. That’s not so far as one could drive it in an auto if accessible by land. Though, it is an island. Getting there by boat takes a couple of days if the right boat is in the right position and ready to go. Apparently, that is not the case for the US hospital ship as it just got there 8 days later.
I saw a report about a young girl about 4 years old. She was said to be about three hours from death. From what was she suffering? No physical injuries, she just needed hydration – water! How many thousands are near death for a lack of water?
Suffering such as this is tortuous. Sleeping outside at night without security is tortuous too.
Emergencies and disasters like this require a surge in support capacity. When the initial state is a deficit condition, the help-hole is very deep. It takes a lot to fill it.
If there is a healthcare deficit in the rich United States, and resources are diverted to an emergency, does that not leave a hole behind? The answer is yes.
People at the Department of Health and Human Services know this condition. If there is an epidemic that spreads throughout the nation, they know there is a breaking point. If an earthquake of 7.0 or more hits a major metro city in California, it would outstrip the capacity to address it, and would cripple the economy to boot.
What can be done about it? Build surge capacity – engineer for disasters, stockpile. To do this requires investment. Squandering money on far flung wars for instance diminishes the capacity of resources needed for domestic emergencies.
“U.S. hospital ship arrives off Haiti
Aftershock hits near capital; clean water restored to biggest hospital
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - A strong aftershock rattled nerves but didn't stop a struggling relief effort that saw some positive signs Wednesday — among them the arrival of a U.S. hospital ship, the restoration of running water at Haiti's largest hospital and news that 2,000 more U.S. Marines were being sent to the quake zone.
The magnitude-5.9 jolt matched the strongest of the aftershocks that have followed the huge quake of Jan. 12 that devastated Haiti's capital. The aftershock was lowered from a preliminary 6.1 reading.
The new temblor collapsed seven buildings in Petit-Goave, the seaside town closest to the epicenter, according to Mike Morton of the U.N. Disaster Assessment and Coordination agency. But there were no reports of people crushed or trapped, perhaps because the earlier quake frightened most people into sleeping outside.”