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November 3, 1956


JAMA. 1956;162(10):977. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970270037013

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Recent natural disasters occurring in the United States and abroad once again serve as a reminder to the practicing physician of his responsibilities to the community, over and above the immediate care of his patients. After floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and lightning and vehicular accidents, the public, besieged with reports of what has been done to bring calm out of chaos, is rarely told how to prepare for similar future calamities. At an even later date, the medical journals come forth with preventive medical programs for the protection of food supplies, sanitation procedures, and evacuation techniques based on past experience, but mainly directed at the public health facilities of an area.

What of the private practitioner? Where does he find out what to do when the next disaster strikes? Nothing in the medical literature or in the wealth of civil defense material can make him part of a planned disaster

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