Discusses the origins of the new science of disaster management, which has evolved during the last decade or so from unorganized, ad hoc disaster assistance. Looks at the development of international aid agencies – the Red Cross, the UNRRA and the WHO. Defines disaster and medicine, and highlights three areas where scientific underpinning has been effective and where the scientific basis of disaster management is being strengthened: the scientific approach; epidemiological advances; training for disaster management.
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