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An Operational Exercise for Disaster Assessment and Emergency Preparedness in South of Iran

Sheikhbardsiri, Hojjat Msc; Yarmohammadian, Mohammad H. PhD; Khankeh, Hamidreza PhD; Khademipour, Gholamreza Msc; Moradian, Mohammad Javad PhD; Rastegarfar, Behnaz MD; Rastegar, Mohammad Reza Msc

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: November 27, 2018 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000815
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Introduction: Exercise is an important step in preparation and implementation of disaster risk programs. The aim of this research was the development and assessment of an operational exercise for disaster preparedness in southeast Iran.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was used to evaluate a 2-day exercise for a level 4 (L-4) scale mock disaster conducted in southeastern Iran in 2017. Seven medical sciences universities participated in the mock disaster exercise: Kerman, Rafsanjan, Bam, Jiroft, Zahedan, Zabol, and Iranshahr medical sciences universities. In total, 990 personnel participated. The disaster preparedness was assessed using a tool designed by the exercise planning team.

Results: The present research reveals that the universities of medical sciences in the southeastern hub of Iran are properly prepared for emergencies and disasters. This included the Disaster Medical Assistance Teams and the response operational comprehensive plan for emergencies and disasters. The research findings indicated a preparedness score of 79.8%. The mean arrival time at exercise area (Jiroft City) was 4 hours 35 minutes despite the wide area of Kerman and Sistan and Baluchistan provinces. Personnel safety and security, rapid assessment, communications, logistics, warnings, and news confirmation functions showed higher levels of preparedness.

Conclusion: The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations reported that organizations must perform the performance preparedness exercises on different levels and areas twice a year to be properly prepared for responding to emergencies and disasters. This study can be considered a suitable standard guide for health care organizations to execute exercises for the maintenance and promotion of their preparedness for properly responding to emergencies and disasters at L-4.

Health Management and Economic Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran (Mr Sheikhbardsiri and Dr Yarmohammadian); Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Health, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran (Dr Khankeh); Department of Emergency Operation Center (EOC), Disasters and Emergencies Management Center, School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran (Mr Khademipour); Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran (Dr Moradian); Department of Disaster & Emergency Health, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran (Dr Rastegarfar); and Department of Emergency Operation Center (EOC), Disasters and Emergencies Management Center, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran (Mr Rastegar).

Correspondence: Mohammad H. Yarmohammadian, PhD, Health Management and Economics Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences Hezarjerib St, Isfahan, Iran (yarmohamadian@mng.mui.ac.ir).

The authors thank all the people who helped perform this operational exercise and present research, especially the team for development, implementation, and exercise evaluation including Dr Mahmoud Nekoei-Moghadam, Dr Mahdi Shaffiei, Ms Farzaneh Talebi, Dr Hadiss Amiri, Dr Maryam Hosseininejad, Dr Simin Mehdipour, Mr Charkhloo, Mr Shikhpour, Ms Fatemeh Hasani, Ms Manijeh Dadbakhsh, Mr Hosseinnjad, Ms Mashayekhi, and Mr Andami.

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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