Disaster Preparedness Resources

Clinical and Humanitarian Response Handbooks

  • SOMOS Disaster Preparedness Toolbox
    Explore the Disaster Preparedness and Trauma Care toolbox, an educational conduit offering resources to help educate non-military orthopaedic surgeons worldwide in the areas of disaster preparedness and trauma care. The toolbox offers special themed issues of the Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances, an online text book, a quarterly newsletter, and an interactive forum.
  • The Sphere Handbook: Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response
    The Sphere Handbook: Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response is one of the most widely known and internationally recognized sets of common principles and universal minimum standards for the delivery of quality humanitarian response.
  • Emergency War Surgery Handbook
    The complete Emergency War Surgery Handbook is available and contains new material that updates the management of war wounds and is filled with over 150 specially drawn illustrations. Techniques applied in the battlefield can be useful in the austere environments of disaster.
  • Surgery for Victims of War Handbook
    The International Committee of the Red Cross offers a Surgery for Victims of War Handbook. The handbook summarizes the experience of leading practitioners in the field of war surgery and is intended to help military and civilian surgical teams treat people wounded in armed conflicts. It covers first aid, admission of urgent cases and triage, skin grafts, treatment of infections, wounds and burns, plastic surgery and anaesthesiology. A PDF version is available for download. Techniques applied in the battlefield can be useful in the austere environments of disaster.
  • Best Practice Guidelines on Surgical Response in Disasters and Humanitarian Emergencies(PDF) This article details best practice guidelines proposed during the 2011 Humanitarian Action Summit to provide greater accountability and standardization in surgical humanitarian relief efforts.
  • Consensus Statements Regarding the Multidisciplinary Care of Limb Amputation Patients in Disasters or Humanitarian Emergencies(PDF) Limb amputations are frequently performed as a result of trauma inflicted during disasters. This article outlines consensus statements developed during the 2011 Humanitarian Action Summit for international organizations providing care to limb amputation patients during disasters or humanitarian emergencies.  

Country Information

  • CIA Fact Book
    It is essential to know about where you are going before you get there. The Central Intelligence Agency's World Fact Book provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.
  • US Department of State A-Z List of Countries and Other Areas
    The US Department of State list of countries and other regions offers a wealth of information about countries of the world, including background information, major reports, and current press releases regarding a country.
  • Travel.state.gov
    A US Department of State website, travel.state.gov provides comprehensive information about international travel, passports, emergency situations and tips for traveling abroad. US Department of State Travel Warnings are accessible through this site.

Personal Preparation

  • CDC Travelers' Health
    This section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention includes country-specific health information.
  • Malaria Prophylaxis
    Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans; this remains a major health problem in developing countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides recommendations for drugs to prevent malaria, which differ by country of travel.
  • Health Care Volunteers and Disaster Response - First, Be Prepared
    This informative New England Journal of Medicine Article discusses many issues relevant to disaster responders and outlines many considerations to take into account before taking part in disaster response.(Log-in may be required)
  • Personal Packing List(PDF)
    This packing list, provided by Christopher Born, MD, includes packing considerations for austere environments, what to pack in your "go-bag" and what to pack in your main bag. This document can be used as a checklist to make sure you have the essentials!
  • List of Acronyms(PDF)
    This list of acronyms (pdf) includes some terms frequently found in the field of disaster preparedness and response.

Links to Professional Medical Associations' Disaster Response Pages (not inclusive)