Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University
of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor; adviser
for new media, Robert Hogan, MD, San Diego.
Disaster response has been a crucial part of public health and medicine
since ancient times. Until World War II it was unplanned and occurred after
the fact. During the 1950s a major shift in disaster response planning was
initiated with the threat of thermonuclear war and the creation of the Civil
Defense Authority. Although the authority was designed for response to war,
it was noted that the same sort of organization and planning could be used
to respond to natural disasters. The Federal Response Plan, the Stafford Act,
the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), and scores of other government
projects, agencies, and regulations have fueled the fires of disaster medicine.
We had everything we needed except a "how-to" book of disaster response planning
or, as it has come to be known, disaster medicine.
Otten EJ. Disaster Medicine. JAMA. 2003;289(3):361-362. doi:10.1001/jama.289.3.361