Disaster Planning and Management
A National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) National Development Programme
Evidence from climate change research suggests that natural disasters are likely to increase in incidence and severity in the coming years. Australia already experiences at least 4 major natural disasters each year, with some of the worse having occurred in the past 2 – 4 years.
Living and working in an area affected by disaster is difficult for all involved and often disrupts community services, including health service delivery. For those living with diabetes there can be serious impacts on the ability to manage their diabetes. As the incidence of natural disasters increases over the coming years, the importance of having a self-management plan in place for a person with diabetes or other chronic diseases is going to be imperative.
The area of pre-planning for these people with chronic diseases as well as increasing the knowledge base of the people working on the ground before, during and after a natural disaster will also need to increase.
The overall aim of the Disaster Planning and Management National Development Programme is for registrants of the NDSS to have information and access to resources to ensure that they can maintain self-management of their diabetes during and after a natural disaster. This includes supporting registrants, as well as assisting those who provide services during and after a natural disaster occurrence. The programme aims to develop a coordinated approach and provide advice on appropriate preparation and response during an emergency, as well as the recovery and reconstruction phases of a natural disaster.
(1) Prepare. Act. Survive.™ Self-management planning to assist people with diabetes before, during and after a natural disaster.
A number of resources will be developed for people with diabetes and carers explaining the need for preparedness, and strategies for being prepared to ensure that people with diabetes can continue their self-management through difficult circumstances.
(2) The needs of people with chronic diseases in natural disasters – A guide for state and local governments, emergency management services and the not-for-profit sector.
A guide will be developed for local and state governments, emergency management services and the not-for-profit sector on the needs of people with chronic conditions during and after a natural disaster. This will include topics on diabetes, complications, adverse events and symptom identification for people with limited knowledge and understanding of the condition.
(3) Education for healthcare professionals on the self-management needs of people with diabetes before, during and after a natural disaster.
A guide will be developed for Credentialled Diabetes Educators and Primary Health Care Nurses on the needs of people with diabetes during and after a natural disaster. This will include topics on diabetes, complications and adverse events.
ABC National News recently run a news item on diabetes and natural disasters from the 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting.
The World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine
Please click here to read the October 2015 World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine newsletter.
For more information on this programme or the resources, please contact Louise Gilmour, National Program Leader, Disaster Planning and Management at the Australian Diabetes Educators Association on firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 6287 4822.
The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) is an initiative of the Australian Government administered by Diabetes Australia.