“Disasters can strike anywhere and at any time. The ability to respond even in the most remote areas is essential for effective emergency response. With the acute phase of disaster response measured in just hours – that brief window of opportunity when most lives can be saved and life-threatening issues contained – speed of deployment is critical.”
Natural disasters and Mass Casualty Incidents (MCIs) are increasing worldwide, affecting over 215 million people per year on average. This risk is increasing as a result of war, terrorism, general population growth and industrialization with low-income countries being the most-often affected due to their vulnerability to hazards and resource scarcity that limits the capacity to prepare and respond.
Immediate to short-term medical response represents one of the greatest challenges to a communities in disaster situations. Rescuers and field medical personnel must often provide care to large numbers of casualties in a setting of limited resources, damaged infrastructure, inadequate communication and great personal risk. Effective response is often beyond the capability of the immediately available human and material resources.
Portable medical clinics play a critically important role in disaster response; from natural calamities like hurricanes and flooding, to outbreaks of disease and violent conflicts. The MediCart is a primary driver for reducing the human life consequence of disaster and helping survivors recover more quickly.
Natural Disasters – 2000-2015
|Disaster Type||Occurrences||Total Deaths||Injured||Homeless||Affected||Total damage ($)|
|Note: “Affected” category includes individuals who were affected but not left injured or homeless by disasters.Source: Guha-Sapir D, Below R, Hoyois PH. EM-DAT: International Disaster Database. Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium. Retrieved Sept. 24, 2014, from http://www.emdat.be.|
Severe winter conditions
Flood and storm surge
Logistics and Disaster Response
Disaster response carries an understandably large and yet unquestionably necessary expense. Human lives are at stake, so logistics efficiency and timeliness is deeply vital.
However, those aspects of disaster response can require quite the cost. Several studies have estimated that around 80 percent of disaster response funds are spent on logistics, making this area one of the most expensive aspects of disaster response. Logistics efficiency or lack thereof makes a dramatic difference in not only the cost of responding to a disaster event, but also in the aid organization’s ability to provide augmented or additional help.
When planning logistics for a relief effort, the field hospital should be capable of supplying two features that are important for efficient disaster response:
Portability: It’s often very difficult to predict the comprehensive need for victims of a disaster, so response facilities must be adaptable to provide the most effectual support. A portable field hospital is ideal, since it can be easily relocated to areas of the greatest need, thus reducing lead times and ensuring more timely care for victims.
Versatility: Disasters almost never result in a single event or issue; there are usually consequential events that require emergency response or resources, and field hospitals need to be versatile in order to address them sufficiently. With buildings that can be easily moved or adjusted, rapid access to additional or new resources (such as medicine, special machines, or personnel), and systems that can be flexible to their environment, versatile field hospitals can be most effective.
Fast and Effective Front-Line Deployment in Difficult Situations
According to the World Health Organization, a field hospital responding to disaster needs to be operational within 24 hours of the event, have sufficient services to meet medical needs, and offer technology that can be operated by national health personnel.
- Is compact in size
- Is rapidly deployable
- Works self-sufficiently
- Can be easily transported to remote, isolated areas and regions
- Can be human transported (transported by bicycle, motorcycle, inflatable boat etc)
- Provides secure accommodation and storage for technicians / relief workers etc
- Can be operated in clusters during mass casualty situations
- Is versatile
- Is extremely low cost