Gender-Aware Disaster Care: Issues and Interventions in Supplies, Services, Triage and Treatment

August 2010 (VOL. 28, NO. 2)

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Many non-medical policy makers, planners and response teams have in the past assumed the mass post-disaster population to be homogenous, and have staged disaster shelters and services that overlooked the specific needs of women. This has led to unnecessary suffering, discomfort and slower recoveries for female disaster victims. This research seeks to not only identify gender disparities in disasters, but also socially constructed and biological differences in health and behavior, and to emphasize interventions that could significantly reduce long-term care costs and recoveries. It is the authors’ contention that proactive “Gender-Aware Disaster Care”—coupled with supplies, services, triage and treatment—would facilitate more efficient interventions in mitigation, needs assessment, care and recovery for women and their families. Thus this work can make significant contributions to gender-aware disaster care and policies, especially among first responders, emergency managers, EMS crews and volunteer organizations that stage and provide shelter and services to evacuees.