Answer all questions below pertaining to the state of Kentucky in a 3-5 page paper.
- Assess the community where you live for potential disasters that could result in mass
a. What disasters are predictable?
b. Are there measures that can be taken to prevent or minimize injuries, death, or
- Find out who is responsible for disaster management in your community.
a. What plans are in place for warning people and for communicating which actions to
take in the event of a disaster?
b. Are the people aware of these plans?
- What social and cultural factors need to be considered in disaster planning in your
a. Are there vulnerable populations with special needs (e.g. homeless, prisoners,
b. If evacuation of the community is mandated, have plans for evacuation of these
groups been made?
- What emergency supplies does your health care facility have available in the event of
a. What provisions have been made available for vulnerable patients, when there is no
b. How would patients be evacuated from your facility to safe shelters?
Kentucky Disasters and the Nurses Role
Kentucky is a State in the United States located at the East South-Central Region.
Kentucky is among the Commonwealth States among them Pennsylvania, Virginia and
Massachusetts. Among the most extensive States in the United States, Kentucky is placed at
position thirty seven; and among the most populous States, Kentucky is placed at position
twenty sixth. Bluegrass State is the nickname of Kentucky, basing on the fertile soil that
supports the growth of bluegrass (Baird, 2007).
Kentucky has experienced a number of disasters, the worst disasters being in the coal
mining industries like Darby mine number one disaster, Martin County Coal Scurry Spill and
Hurricane Creek Mine disaster. Fire disasters in Kentucky identify with Beverly Hills Supper
Club fire and Louisville Sewer explosions. Natural disasters identify with Hurricanes,
Earthquakes and Tornadoes. Transportation disasters identify with Shepherdsville train
wreck, Brooks derailment, Prestonsburg bus disaster and Carrollton bus collision. The
KENTUCKY DISASTERS AND THE NURSES ROLE 2
number of disasters in Kentucky is limitless as the world changes with socialization and
globalization. Disasters are induced by human activities, natural phenomenon and through
technical aspects on socio-economic systems that are vulnerable (KCSS, 2008).
Kentucky in the twenty first century is prone to diverse disasters resulting in fire
disasters, coal mining disasters, transportation disasters and natural disasters among others,
with a probability of causing mass casualties. Some of the predictable disasters identify with
fire disasters, coal mining disasters. Predictable disasters in Kentucky identify with social
disasters examples being social unrest, terrorism and riots among others. Natural disasters are
also predictable although the magnitude of the devastation is not known (KCSS, 2008).
Examples of natural disasters are volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tornados, hurricane,
wildfires and disease outbreaks among others. Technological disasters are not predictable,
examples being explosives, toxic spills, transportation accidents and radio-isotopes emissions
among others (Baird, 2007).
Disaster management is part of the measures taken by human beings in minimizing or
preventing deaths, injuries and destruction. Disaster management incorporates management
and organization of responsibilities and resources in dealing with emergency humanitarian
aspects in response, preparedness and recovery and in making sure that the impact of the
disasters are minimized. Disaster management classifies disasters in types and the focuses on
disaster prevention, disaster preparedness, disaster recovery and disaster relief (Collins,
Disaster management in Kentucky
Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) is the regulatory body concerned with
the disaster management in the State. Surveys have shown that KYEM is part of the
Kentucky Department of Military Affairs, with the functions and roles of KYEM being preset
by the Kentucky Revised Statues chapter 39 as a legislative action (KCSS, 2008). KYEM
KENTUCKY DISASTERS AND THE NURSES ROLE 3
offices are in the Boone National Guard Center with outlets distributed all over the
commonwealth (Baird, 2007).
The vision of KYEM argues that the emergency unit is a resilient commonwealth,
secure, prepared and safe in dealing with disasters and emergencies through efforts and
programs in superior teams that are professionally led and staffed in dealing with any arising
issues which would result to mass casualties. The mission of KYEM is to restore and protect
the Kentucky commonwealth (Collins, 2000).
KYEM coordinates with the government of the United States in managing any arising
emergencies; a sound example is the coordination of the federal program through the
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), where NFIP works hand in hand with the
Kentucky Division of Water. KYEM encourages participation of the general public in dealing
with the emergency issues. Participation of the community is voluntary; KYEM has
facilitated participation of the community through alerts via text messages in the mobile
phones, Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on computers and phones, KYEM public photos
and KYEM social media among other models (KCSS, 2008).
KYEM has agents all over the Kentucky State that monitors the probabilities of
disasters. Disasters disrupt the normal activities of people in Kentucky. KYEM encourages
closer interaction between communities and the authorities. The collaboration is believed to
foster protection from disasters (Baird, 2007).
Social and cultural factors in disaster planning
Communities in Kentucky are influenced by the social and cultural factors. Disasters
are natural or manmade, it has been noted that disasters irrespective of the causes results in
psychopathology among the affected individuals. A number of studies have indicated that
disasters have an influence on the mental health of the affected individuals. The extent of the
KENTUCKY DISASTERS AND THE NURSES ROLE 4
anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder and panic disorders are among other
mental disorders that are influenced by social, cultural and economic factors (Collins, 2000).
Complex emergencies influence social and cultural issues that have a stake on the
economic, political, health care and social cultural infrastructures. Complex emergencies are
subjected to complex interventions by using strategies that mitigate disasters. Disasters
damage social and health services (KCSS, 2008). In Kentucky, there are vulnerable
populations with special needs, such as mobility impaired, prisoners and the homeless people
in the society among others.
Preparedness of emergencies is a shared responsibility; people in Kentucky are
encouraged to learn basic skills in dealing and coping with emergencies. Emergency workers
in Kentucky are trained in offering special support to people with special needs in the society
and vulnerable people in the community. Caregivers are expected to coordinate with
emergency workers in offering the much needed support among the people with special needs
and among the disabled people.
Plans for evacuation in Kentucky are clearly documented, in that emergencies and
disasters affect each and every person living in Kentucky, and that the main challenge in
evacuating disabled people and people with special needs is compounded on the overreliance
to elevators, electrical power, accessible communication and accessible transportation
(Collins, 2000). Such benefits are compromised in times of disasters hence making the
evacuation efforts tricky and complex (Baird, 2007). Emergency preparedness involves three
major aspects identifying with knowing the risks, making a sound plan and getting the
relevant emergency kit. Municipal emergency management coordinators are put in place in
making sure that people with special needs and people with disabilities are attended to in the
face of emergencies.
Emergency Medical Supplies in Events of Disasters
KENTUCKY DISASTERS AND THE NURSES ROLE 5
Kentucky Medical Association (KMA) works under the American Medical
Association (AMA) in making sure that the patients receive the best health care even in the
times of emergencies. Kentucky health officials are advised to educate the people on how to
handle situations in cases of blackouts resulting from emergencies (KCSS, 2008). Majority of
hospitals have battery backups, extra oxygen tanks, contacts to the transportation services and
dialing emergency contacts are the common methods of dealing with people in need of
special services in times of emergencies.
Medical device providers in Kentucky are advised to educate caregivers and patients
on the best ways of understanding diverse ways of responding to any forms of emergencies.
Preparation and education are the best tools of dealing with emergencies. Hospitals in
Kentucky have equipped the caregivers on methods of evacuating people with special needs.
It is advised that the caregiver and the person with special needs to communicate and arrive at
the desired conclusion, independency of the people with special needs must be respected
KENTUCKY DISASTERS AND THE NURSES ROLE 6
Baird, N. D. (2007). Healing Kentucky: Medicine in the Bluegrass State. Lexington,
Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky.
Collins, L. R. (2000). Disaster Management and Preparedness. London: CRC Press.
KCSS. (2008). Emergency Management Resource Guide. Kentucky Center for School Safety
(KCSS) , 1-147.