May 7, 2012
Theresa White, MSN
Community Emergency Preparedness and Response Paper
Preparing for an emergency and knowing what to do in case of an emergency is an important aspect every community should know. Preparedness can be the difference between life and death in certain situations. This is the case in Season two Episode five of this week’s assignment. A forest fire is raging out of control near the Neighborhood for five days. Resident’s are developing respiratory and problems related to the fire’s proximity to the city. As with any disaster, communities need to have a plan of action and be ready to put the plan in action for the safety of the people and the community. Summary of Events
The city of Neighborhood, population 64,200, is along the banks of Neighborhood River and the beautiful Neighborhood Forest. For the past five days, a forest fires has been raging and is coming closer to the city. Hundreds of acres have been destroyed so far because the fire is not under control due to the early return of the windy season. As firefighters battle the blaze, health care providers battle the respiratory and other health issues the fires is causing within the city. Hospitals and outpatient clinics are being overrun with individuals suffering from respiratory problems. Mandatory overtime is being installed in the hospital due to the large influx of patients. Children as well as adults are suffering from asthma and other respiratory issues. Officials are urging people to stay indoors unless necessary to keep the problems to a minimum. Everyone is affected by the smoky air but those with pre-existing respiratory conditions are suffering the most. Officials have reported that if the fire changes direction toward town, they will inform the public of the plans to be taken. Jimmy Bley and his wife Cecelia live in the Neighborhood. They have been married for 56 years. Both are in their 70s and have some health concerns. Jimmy has hearing loss, which he considers mild. Jimmy also has emphysema, which he describes as not that bad. Cecelia has osteoarthritis, which she describes as more of an annoyance than anything else. During this episode, Cecelia informs Jimmy that the dryer has broken again. Jimmy is determined to fix it himself but is waiting until the smoky air clears some before venturing outdoors so his emphysema does not act up. Cecelia’s daughter comes over and takes her mother to the Laundromat so that she can finish the laundry. Also noted in the city’s newspaper is the annual Science Fair, hosted by the Middle School. More than 50 students will be participating in the event. Prizes will be handed out to those projects with the chance to enter into a higher level regional, statewide, or national science fair. Actions of Health Care Workers
Because of the forest fore, the hospital is inundated with patients suffering from asthma, emphysema, and other respiratory related problems. Every public health nurse was feeling the effects of the fire so close to home. Nurse Kate is extremely busy admitting new patients from the emergency room as soon as there are beds available. Because of the increased amount of admissions, there are no beds available. The staff is pressured and morale is low related to the increased demands to discharge patients to make room for the admissions waiting in the emergency room. School nurse Violet is in the process of assessing Kelsey, a second grade student at the elementary school. Violet notes that Kelsey’s respiratory rate is increased and she has increased coughing. It is noted that Kelsey suffers from asthma and the forest fire is aggravating her condition. Kelsey does not have an inhaler at school. Violet calls Kelsey’s mother to pick her up and advises her to leave an inhaler at school for Kelsey for cases like this. Nurse Karen has been noticing the effects that the forest...