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From The CriticsReviewer: Lisa N Rapoport, MD, MS (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: The authors begin this book with the very simple (but difficult) question, "what is a disaster?" and continue with basic explanations of types of disasters and their management, and finish with specific problems and situations that may be encountered in a disaster. This updates the 2002 edition, and includes data and experience from both the tsunami disaster and Hurricane Katrina.
Purpose: The purpose is to educate and prepare medical practitioners for a disaster by explaining concepts pertaining to disasters and the groundwork needed to comprehend and prepare. It is a huge and lofty goal but very necessary, and the book succeeds in meeting it. It is also very readable, providing many real-life examples that illustrate points and concepts, which in turn animates the book more than one would anticipate.
Audience: The book is directed at any public health or potential disaster relief practitioner and is accessible to any audience. The authors clearly have extensive knowledge of the field, and the list of contributors is impressive.
Features: The six sections cover basic concepts such as defining what a disaster is; how to plan for one; different types of disasters; and how to educate about disasters. It is clear that the authors have gathered world experts in the field because they consistently use examples of real disasters to explain concepts and theories. One of the strongest points of the book is the way it describes and makes real complex theories that may otherwise be difficult to grasp.
Assessment: This is a good quality book — well written, well substantiated, and clearly organized. Furthermore, as an emergency medicine resident physician, I feel the subject matter is vital to my training and future practice.