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The Institue of Medicine (IOM) report recommends a systems-based approach to allocating resources and delivering care during crises. It also provides tools and templates to help different stakeholders -- including agencies offering services to the elderly -- involved in disaster planning and response identify their core functions and responsibilities.
What a difference three years made in planning for and dealing with the aftermath of Gulf Coast hurricanes. The impact on the residents of the affected states, including the elderly, was far less tragic than when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf in August 2005. Hurricanes Gustav, Hannah and Ike did much physical damage, but the number of lives lost totaled fewer than 100 in the United States, compared with about 1,600 in the wake of Katrina and Rita.
Few if any of the approximately 5,000 elderly evacuated from the Houston-Galveston area before Hurricane Ike hit early Saturday morning are feeling comfortable, but there have been no reported deaths and the disaster plans have been implemented with no major foul-ups.
Several independent house and apartment locators nationwide are pumping their data into the Department of Housing & Urban Development's National Housing Locator (NCL) to accelerate temporary housing opportunities for thousands of victims of Hurricane Ike. The locators offer their services to HUD whenever a state of emergency is declared, which in turn, eliminates duplications before the housing is posted on NCL.
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