The Legacy of the Flood of `93

  • Baker, David E.;
  • Reynolds, Stephen, J.;
  • Sessions, Julie;
  • Scharf, Ted;
  • Hennessy, Colleen

In November, 1993, The University of Iowa and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health co-sponsored the "Farm Flood Response Workshop: Implications for Agricultural Safety and Health.," This workshop focused on flood-related problems associated with stress, environmental health, and general safety. Workshop recommendations include:

  • improved communications and coordination between service providers;
  • improved identification of needed services during new and unusual conditions; and
  • the establishment of a peer-reviewed, information clearing house and resource center.

To begin the process of implementing and extending these recommendations, organizers convened "The Legacy of the Flood of '93: A working conference and electronic network," during April, 1994, in St. Louis. The goals of the conference were to:

  • facilitate communications and coordination among federal, state, and local government offices as well as public and private agencies throughout the Midwest;
  • evaluate agencies' responses to the Flood of 1993;
  • facilitate the development of integrated service teams within each flood-affected state;
  • develop a cooperative network for sharing information and expertise to address both current and future flood recovery efforts;
  • expand this cooperative network into an infrastructure of health and safety professionals and services prepared to respond in a coordinated fashion during future disasters; and
  • establish an electronic network to promote and extend working relationships and communications among all interested public and private agencies.

As a result of both the St. Louis and Iowa conferences, integrated service teams are being established at the federal, regional, and state levels involving both the public and private sectors. In addition, a moderated, electronic discussion list, "Flood-L," has been established at the University of Missouri - Columbia to facilitate interactive communication and information dissemination related to safety and health issues associated with disasters. Additional recommendations include:

  • developing a central information source for recommendations regarding sanitation, food, water, vaccinations, environmental health and safety, etc.;
  • maintaining a disaster infrastructure prepared to respond quickly, effectively, and knowledgeably to future disasters; and
  • standardizing forms and other procedures to eliminate duplication and to focus on service delivery.

This research abstract was extracted from a portion of the proceedings of "Agricultural Safety and Health: Detection, Prevention and Intervention," a conference presented by the Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Health, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The authors noted above are from: Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO; Fed. Office of Rural Health Policy, Washington, DC; NIOSH, Cincinnati, OH,; The Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA and The Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA respectively.

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