Natural Disasters are often caused by weather and other “natural” events that can significantly harm a community causing injury and/or death to its citizens. They can cause damage to property and infrastructure, and create a negative economic impact that could take a community years to recover from. Typical natural disasters include extreme heat or cold, flooding, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfire. The concept of “natural disaster” has gotten more complex because of factors like human choice and climate change, causing an increase in the severity of impacts to these events.
IDMC’s primary mission is to help states and communities prepare for the medical response to disasters, help mitigate the impacts on healthcare systems, and enhance the medical capabilities of affected communities to lessen the effects of a disaster when it happens. IDMC works with member teams in preparation by assisting them with multijurisdictional full-scale exercises and providing expert insight and advice for after-action reviews. Our non-profit assists in the creation of new state disaster medical teams in states and regions, building on lessons learned and best practices from years of experience. We also use our experience to build sustainable models for disaster and mortuary care. In addition, we provide basic resources to help states create their teams ranging from telecommunication tools to experts in the disaster field. In some cases, like the Joplin tornado in 2011, IDMC will send responders and assist with medical care and logistical procurement. In Joplin, we were able to save local providers countless hours of research and communication efforts that were better focused on the patient care mission. In other cases, we provide IT support with a variety of telecommunication tools that enable member states to share platforms and stand-up responses within their collaborative networks.