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Research and Evaluations of the Health Aspects of Disasters, Part IV: Framework for Societal Structures: the Societal Systems

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 November 2015

Marvin L. Birnbaum*
Affiliation:
Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Physiology, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WisconsinUSA; Emeritus Editor-in-Chief, Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
Elaine K. Daily
Affiliation:
Nursing Section Editor, Prehospital and Disaster Medicine; Executive Secretary, World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine, Madison, WisconsinUSA
Ann P. O’Rourke
Affiliation:
Assistant Professor, Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WisconsinUSA
*
Correspondence: Marvin L. Birnbaum, MD, PhD Suite 407 610 N. Whitney Way Madison, WI 53705 USA E-mail: mbirnbaum@wadem.org

Abstract

For the purposes of research and/or evaluation, a community/society is organized into 13 Societal Systems under the umbrella of an overall Coordination and Control System. This organization facilitates descriptions of a community/society or a component of a community for assessment at any designated time across the Temporal Phases of a disaster. Such assessments provide a picture of the functional status of one or more Systems that comprise a community. Since no system operates in isolation from the other systems, information of the concomitant status of several Societal Systems is crucial to gaining a complete understanding of compromised functions, as well as the effects and side effects of any intervention directed at restoring the functional state of the affected community or risk-reduction interventions of a community-at-risk. The 13 Societal Systems include: (1) Public Health; (2) Medical Care; (3) Water and Sanitation; (4) Shelter and Clothing; (5) Food and Nutrition; (6) Energy Supply; (7) Public Works and Engineering; (8) Social Structures; (9) Logistics and Transportation; (10) Security; (11) Communications; (12) Economy; and (13) Education. Many functions and sub-functions of the Systems overlap, or share some common sub-functions with other systems. For the purposes of research/evaluation, it is necessary to assign functions and sub-functions to only one of the Societal Systems.

BirnbaumML, DailyEK, O’RourkeAP. Research and Evaluations of the Health Aspects of Disasters, Part IV: Framework for Societal Structures: the Societal Systems. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(6):633–647.

Type
Special Reports
Copyright
© World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2015 

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Footnotes

a

Task Force for Quality Control of Disaster Medicine, World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine, Nordic Society for Disaster Medicine. Health Disaster Management Guidelines for Evaluation and Research in the Utstein Style. Sundnes KO, Birnbaum ML (eds). Prehosp Disaster Med. 2003;17(Supplement 3).

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