Our Opinion

Published 11:17 am Wednesday, September 6, 2006

By Staff
Planning for pandemic essential
Living along the Gulf Coast has taught area residents to be prepared for emergencies, especially during hurricane season.
In a meeting held at D.W. McMillan Hospital on Tuesday, officials in the healthcare community, along with community leaders, heard information from Dr. Donald E. Williamson, state health director with the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Williamson addressed a group of people who are in a position to be concerned about the care of those who may become sick should this country be faced with an influenza pandemic.
During his presentation, Williamson emphasized how important knowledge concerning such a scenario would be in the event an outbreak occurred. Preparation, he said, is vital to making the system work as best it can should the need for exploded healthcare arise.
We also believe that planning for potential disasters is necessary.
In the wake of hurricanes during the last two seasons plans have been made by officials throughout the area to establish emergency shelters as well as food, water and ice distribution services. A recent meeting of the Escambia County Sheriff's staff and EMA Director David Adams concerning a potential hurricane landfall is evident that plans are essential when faced with the possibility of a disaster.
Williamson gave data on historical outbreaks and compared them to what devastation the country would face should such an event take place today. The statistics were staggering.
Planning is essential in keeping lives lost to a minimum in any emergency situation.
We applaud those who are in on the ground floor of the planning, training and other preparations for what could be the worst thing this nation has ever faced.

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