Management of Dead Bodies after Disasters: A Field Manual for First Responders
PAHO Occasional Publication
ISBN-13    9789275126301 ISBN-10    9275126305
Order Number    16300167 Format    Paper Back
Price    CHF    20.00 / US$    24.00 Developing countries:    CHF    14.00
English     2006        55   pages
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Management of the dead is one of the most difficult aspects of disaster response. It has profound and long-lasting consequences for survivors and communities. Globally, disasters claim thousands of lives each year. However, care of the deceased is often overlooked in disaster planning and the absence of guidance for first responders has recently been highlighted following several large disasters.

Immediately after a major disaster, identifying and disposing of human remains are often done by local communities. Forensic specialists may not be available or unable to rapidly access the affected area. There are simple steps that first responders can take to ensure the dead are treated in a dignified way and that can assist in their identification.

This field manual for first responders presents simple recommendations for non-specialists to manage the recovery, basic identification, storage and disposal of dead bodies following disasters. It also makes suggestions about providing support to family members and communities with the public and the media.

This manual will be useful during the immediate response to a disaster and where forensic response are unavailable. Furthermore, it will be useful for those preparing mass fatality disaster plans. The recommendations are relevant for local, regional and national authorities as well as for non-governmental organizations.

The principles outlined in this document are being implemented and promoted by a variety of organizations, including the Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.