Module 6: Disaster Planning in Public Health

(All papers must have INTRODUCTION & CONCLUSION. Use the uploaded Grading Rubric to write the paper)

This first discussion assignment is intended to help each student set a context for the course, establish expectations and goals for the course, and provide insights to the instructor enabling tailoring of the course to better fit the needs of the students. Replies to discussion questions must be well considered and scholarly. A quality initial response to the Discussion Question should be roughly 400 words. (Selected Journal article MUST not be more that 5 years old)


Emergencies or those sudden events with serious consequences that require an immediate response are handled by the persons involved and reported in the news every day. On the other hand, a destructive event that interferes with a population carrying out normal daily living activities is a disaster. Disasters may occur daily throughout the world but usually are not part of the usual public health practice, but the nurse must be prepared and know an immediate response when they do occur. This module will explore the types of disasters, the role of government in responding to those disasters, and the type of planning necessary to protect populations’ health. Emphasis will be placed on the nurse’s role in collaboration with other disciplines in all phases of disaster management.

Goals Alignment

•           University Mission-Based Outcomes – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

•           Program Learning Goals – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

•           Course Learning Objectives – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

  Learning Materials

•           Preparedness | State Public Health | ASTHO. (n.d.). Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

•           MedCon: Pre-Event | CDC. (n.d.). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

•           Get Help. (n.d.). Emergency Preparedness | Red Cross.

•           American Public Health Association. (2014). Are you ready for hurricane disasters. March of Dimes.

•           Baack, S. (2013). Nurses’ preparedness and perceived competence in managing disasters. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 45(3), 281-287.

Additional Resources

•           UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. (n.d.). Play and learn to stop disasters. 

Discussion Question:

Please choose one of the following prompts:

•           Select a personal example when you heard a warning about an impending threat or imminent disaster (e.g., tornado, hurricane, wildfire, explosion, and flood). What was your response? What factors or personal beliefs impacted your response?

•           After reviewing the information provided in your assignments, how does this information relate to your current practice? Is there a disaster plan in place? If so, is it adequate to meet the needs of all the stakeholders involved? If not, what actions need to occur? Are all types of disasters addressed in this plan? If not, what is missing?


Disaster Planning in Public Health

Disaster planning primarily aims to lessen disaster impact on vulnerable populations and formulate a coordinated effort that reduces resource and time loss. In the long run, organizations can predict, prevent, mitigate, respond to and cope effectively with potential consequences (Sledge & Thomas, 2019). Alternatively, in public health, disaster preparedness reduces fear, anxiety and enhances a country’s ability to respond to expected, unimaginable, or unexpected threats. This essay aims to provide a personal example of an imminent disaster experience.

For my case, the most unique and unforgettable experience was when floods hit our area of residence. By then, the population was overly vulnerable in terms of health and livelihood. According to Khan et al. (2018), public health care providers are tasked with participating in a coordinated response to promote, protect, and improve individual and communities’ health after a major disaster. Therefore, as a trained and qualified public health nurse, I immediately understood the health risks posed by disasters like flooding. Building on Sandifer & Walker (2018), my response entailed a combination of hazard and vulnerability reduction measures to prevent risks, alongside assimilating corresponding measures to emergency management prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Fundamentally, the public health nurse’s role in disaster management is to provide care to the sick or injured and help individuals and families cope with physical and emotional issues. Accordingly, Hashikawa & Gold (2018) explain that such initiatives by public health providers improve the overall community’s well-being. Some of the factors that influenced my response include environmental factors, social factors, operational factors, economic factors, legal factors, technological factors, and institutional factors. Notably, communities should be educated on health safety precautions such as evacuation or moving to higher grounds during flooding disasters. Availing emergency supply kits alongside flood watches and warnings aid in emergency management prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.


Hashikawa, M., & Gold, K. J. (2018). Disaster preparedness in primary care: Ready or not. Disaster Med Public Health Prep12(5), 644-8.

Khan, Y., O’Sullivan, T., Brown, A., Tracey, S., Gibson, J., Généreux, M., & Schwartz, B. (2018). Public health emergency preparedness: a framework to promote resilience. BMC public health18(1), 1-16.

Sandifer, P. A., & Walker, A. H. (2018). Enhancing disaster resilience by reducing stress-associated health impacts. Frontiers in public health6, 373.

Sledge, D., & Thomas, H. F. (2019). From disaster response to community recovery: nongovernmental entities, government, and public health. American journal of public health109(3), 437-444.