Free download of paper that explains why. I am not convinced of this logic but have not read the paper yet. I am still looking to move to a more rural area. Fewer people means fewer germs. But I just drove back from the big city and I enjoy the big city. May not be worth the trouble to remove to some remote area.
Rural Regions at High Risk for Ebola Outbreak
Nov 03, 2014 07:00 pm | IGI Global
Rural Regions At High Risk For Ebola Outbreak The Ebola virus has claimed almost 5,000 lives since March, sparking the implementation of defense measures around the world to protect citizens from the contagious disease.
On Tuesday, October 28, Australia became the first developed country to shut its borders to citizens of the countries worst-hit by the West African Ebola outbreak, a move those states said stigmatized healthy people and would ultimately obstruct prevention. On October 24, governors of New Jersey and New York ordered a mandatory, 21-day quarantine of all medical workers and other arriving airline passengers who have had contact with victims of the deadly disease in West Africa.
While the world’s larger cities and communities design and integrate protection plans for containing contagious disease such as Ebola, rural areas remain unprotected and unprepared. Ironically, it was in such rural regions that the virus supposedly originated, claiming unsuspecting victims unable to receive proper diagnosis and treatment in necessary time.
USA Today reported, “While much of the fight against Ebola in West Africa focuses on highly populated cities, often overlooked are rural areas where inadequate infrastructure and health care fuel its spread. The lack of any medical facilities for hundreds of miles in these remote regions of Sierra Leone — like in neighboring Liberia and Guinea — is a main reason the country is failing to gain control of the crisis.”
Communities in Africa have organized outreach programs to provide information and support to those who might not be fully informed on details of the spreading disease, but it is nearly impossible to reach all the native tribes and independent communities in the country. Rural areas are obviously less connected and harder to reach, bringing the next question: What is the best way to implement emergency response in rural areas?
The IGI Global article, “Emergency Response in Rural Areas” relays a study coordinated in rural parts of Sweden, investigating new ways of organizing for efficient response in the face of emergency. Discussing new ways of organizing for efficient response are explored through extended collaboration between societal sectors and in the utilization of local social capital. New categories of first responders and their requirements are identified, and technical and non-technical solutions as support are proposed. The solutions include mobile applications and a technical infrastructure making it possible for volunteers to obtain information about events requiring emergency response.
This article, by Sofie Pilemalm (Department for Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden), Rebecca Stenberg (Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden) and Tobias Andersson Granberg (Department of Science and Technology, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden), is from the International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (IJISCRAM), an academically rigorous outlet for research into crisis response and management. IJISCRAM focuses on the design, development, implementation, use and evaluation of IS technologies and methodologies to support crisis response and management. This journal covers all aspects of the crisis management information systems discipline, from organizational issues to technology support to decision support and knowledge representation. High quality submissions are encouraged using any qualitative or quantitative research methodology, focusing on the design, development, implementation, use, and evaluation of such systems. Access “Emergency Response in Rural Areas” here.
In this study, security and safety in rural parts of Sweden are investigated. New ways of organizing for efficient response can be found in the extended collaboration between societal sectors and in the utilization of local social capital. New categories of first responders and their requirements are identified and technical and non-technical solutions as support are proposed. The solutions include e.g. mobile applications and a technical infrastructure making it possible for volunteers to obtain information about events requiring emergency response. Emergency management in rural areas shows several similarities to large-scale crises, e.g. in terms of insufficient infrastructure available and the need to use local resources in the immediate aftermath of the event. Therefore, the results of the study can be transferable to large-scale crises. Article Preview
In large parts of our society the demographic structure of rural areas is in continuous change. People moving into or closer to large cities results in increasingly sparsely populated rural areas. In these areas it may not be possible to maintain the same level of security and safety for the population as in urban areas using traditional resources such as fire and rescue services, police and emergency medical services. The needs of the population may be different as well as the requirements on response organizations, corresponding information systems and other technical solutions.
More than half the geographic area of Sweden can be considered rural, i.e. sparsely populated and taking more than 45 minutes by car to a town with more than 3000 inhabitants. The Swedish government considers it a challenge to respond to emergencies properly and effectively in these areas. The Swedish Government has therefore assigned The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) to propose trial activities in three counties primarily based on new ways of collaboration between existing emergency response organizations and by integrating new actors into the response system. New forms of collaboration will bring entirely new issues about responsibility, rights and duties in emergency management to the fore.
This study addresses the needs for security and emergency management in rural areas. The handling of everyday emergencies in sparsely populated areas shows several substantial similarities to large-scale crises in cities and other affected areas. The similarities include e.g. an insufficient basic infrastructure (including electricity, food, gas, water) the need to quickly mobilize and organize an immediate response using local resources in combined and innovative ways (Pilemalm, Andersson, & Hallberg, 2008) and the need to rely on voluntary organizations and individuals. The results outlined by the study should therefore, to a great extent, be applicable to large-scale crises and catastrophes.
Aim and Objectives
The aim of this study is to investigate the current situation and existing resources for emergency management in rural areas, and to identify future needs and solutions. Specifically, the study addresses the following research questions:
1. How do the rural population perceive needs for safety, security and emergency management?
2. What technical and non-technical solutions can be developed to meet the identified needs?
Based on the results, a number of trial activities are suggested aimed at improving the response to emergencies, implementing new solutions, and addressing issues about about responsibility, rights and duties. The results’ implications for large-scale crisis management are discussed throughout the paper.
This section describes the general background for the study, a brief theoretical framework and the study setting.
Security and Emergency Management in Rural Areas
There is a need to manage the ever decreasing population issue in rural areas from a security and safety perspective (e.g. Halseth et al., 2002). However, few studies actually focus on rural needs and solutions to emergency management. The studies identified mainly consider trust in public authorities (e.g. Lidström, 2009), communication management and technical development (Stenberg et al., 2010b). There also exist a few studies on health care and emergency medical services in rural areas (e.g. Lee &Winters, 2004) which consider the special conditions in sparsely populated areas (e.g. distance, time, weather, terrain) and how they can be handled. Solutions include the development of new functions, including increased collaboration or integration of health care and emergency management with other functions. Examples include multifunctional centers, self-help, voluntary contributions and increased responsibility and knowledge for the individual citizen (Halseth et al., 2002; Stenberg et al., 2010a; the Finnish Ministry of the Interior, 2006).