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links for 2010-09-27

September 27, 2010

  • Pretty cool speech by Secretary Sebelius to a conference organized by the UPMC Center for Biosecurity. The speech included information on H1N1, lab capacity and countermeasures.

    My biggest problem is the major investment of $2B in the next few years is focused on the federal government and private partners. True end-to-end public health response depends (almost wholly, I believe) on state and local response. Maybe she hasn't seen all of the reports lamenting the poor state of our local and state public health workforces?

  • Yes, yes, Jimmy, we get it, we should use social media for disaster situational awareness.

    This article is a bit different, though. It tells of Craig Fugate using Twitter to identify the status of the #sanbruno fire and explosion. Not the huge emergency management infrastructure, not the media, but Twitter.

    If the FEMA Admin is using these tools, what more justification do you need?

  • Flu's still around, and Google's still "tracking" it.
  • Here's an interesting post from John Solomon's great In Case of Emergency Blog about evacuation. He describes the differences between expected and unexpected evacs very nicely. But for me, the real difference between the two is the special populations, the elderly, the infirm, the not-easily-moved, the sick (even those with chronic conditions). Practicing evac for those folks greases the wheels, allowing them to know that they /can/ find caretakers in other places (think about how difficult it is to evac folks on dialysis), knowing that they can get meds further inland if they need it, etc.

    Even if there is lead-in time before the evacuation, just knowing these things makes these things easier. Given two days to evacuate, people will still fret and forget things, but if they evacuate regularly, the evacuation becomes a tiny detail. Mass evacuations that are not practiced can end up being disastrous (see: Rita, Hurricane).

  • Neat little flash-based game. Obviously not true to life (I had riots in the southeastern US with less than 200 cases on the whole eastern seaboard and less than 10 deaths worldwide), but interesting nonetheless.
    (tags: flu pandemic game)

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