Volume 7, Issue 1 (Autumn 2021)                   Health in Emergencies and Disasters Quarterly 2021, 7(1): 1-2 | Back to browse issues page

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Eskandari Z, Dehghani A. Frequent Occurrence of Pandemics: The Need to Change the Family Emergency Kit and First Aid Kits of the DAVAAM Group. Health in Emergencies and Disasters Quarterly 2021; 7 (1) :1-2
URL: http://hdq.uswr.ac.ir/article-1-384-en.html
1- Department of Health in Emergencies and Disasters, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2- Department of Health in Emergencies and Disasters, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. , dehghani.am64@gmail.com
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Letter to the Editor
COVID-19 disease has changed many aspects of life. Dealing with accidents and disasters is no exception to this rule. Therefore, the necessary preparedness must be made in disasters that coincide with pandemics in the communities.
Perhaps the simplest and, at the same time, the most crucial issue is to review the equipment inside the family emergency kit, which requires the addition of sanitary items, such as masks and disinfectant liquid. In this letter to the editor, the necessary health items and their amount is calculated based on the number of household members.
According to the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) report, in 2020, there were 389 natural disasters in the world, which affected more than 98.4 million people in the world and resulted in the death of 15080 people. The earthquake which happened in Turkey, with 115 dead, was one of the deadliest disasters that occurred this year [1].
Earthquakes and floods are the most common disasters, affecting most people and forcing them to flee their houses and seek refuge in safe areas, often in disaster management shelters or camps. The more prepared the families are for disasters, the less the vulnerability of the society will be. One of the steps taken in this direction is providing families with a family emergency kit. Based on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggestion, these bags should contain items, such as non-perishable food and water for several days, mobile phone battery or charger, radio, flashlight, and extra battery, first aid kit, whistle for help, essential hygiene items, garbage bags, can openers (if you have canned food), the latest drug prescriptions, medicines, extra glasses, powdered milk, important family documents (copy of ID card, insurance policy, bank records, house and car documents in a waterproof bag), blankets, yarns and glass [2]. According to the standards, each family should have at least two kits, one for home and a small portable one in the car or workplace [3].
The world has always been affected by numerous epidemics such as SARS, MERS, and influenza. Currently, the world is plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected around 79.2 million people and killed about 1.7 million in 2020. In such circumstances, the possibility of the presence of carriers of COVID-19 or asymptomatic patients in crisis management shelters and camps will lead to the spread of the disease in disaster-affected communities [4].
Because of the importance of prevention and observance of primary hygiene to break the epidemic cycle, it is necessary to add to the content of life bags. In this regard, mask, soap, or an alcohol-based disinfectant solution and wipes should be added to these bags and the unit of the DAVVAM (volunteer emergency response) group. Experiences from the crises show that emergency response operations are beyond the control of governments alone. In societies that have developed preparedness programs, the rate of casualties and lack of coordination in the performance of the assigned task is significantly reduced. To achieve the people-centered goals and increase people’s participation and make the Tehran crisis management system as efficient as possible, the authorities established DAVVAM groups in Tehran. This group has necessities for citizens in critical situations
On the other hand, since the COVID-19 vaccination has started, keeping a copy of the vaccination card in the bag may be a good idea. According to the proposed standards, there should be 15-20 masks per person, one small soap for the whole family (4 people), and 100 mL of hand sanitizer solution in the rescue bag for 3 days’ use. In the conex homes of the DAVVAM group, based on the number of households covered, these items must be provided and maintained. In addition to informing people, it is of essence to train everyone for this situation and show them the importance of being prepared.

Ethical Considerations
Compliance with ethical guidelines

There were no ethical considerations to be considered in this research.

This research did not receive any grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or non-profit sectors.

Authors' contributions
Both authors equally contributed to preparing this article.

Conflict of interest
The authors declared no conflict of intrest.

  1. Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. Cred crunch 62 - 2020 annual report. Indian: CRED; 2021. https://www.emdat.be/cred-crunch-62-2020-annual-report-0
  2. Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). Disaster year in review 2020 global trends and perspectives [Internet]. 2021. Availavble from: https://cred.be/sihttps://cred.be/sites/default/files/CredCrunch62.pdf
  3. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Emergency supply list [Internet]. 2020. Available from: https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2021-02/ready_checklist.pdf
  4. World Health Organization (WHO). Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 [Internet]. 2021 [Updated 2021 December 21]. Available from: https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/weekly-epidemiological-update-on-covid-19---21-december-2021
Type of Study: Editorial | Subject: General
Received: 2021/02/7 | Accepted: 2021/07/1 | Published: 2021/10/1

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