Responding to Disasters: Training Can Overcome Issues in Disaster Response

Mitchel Rosen, Deborah Weinstock, Megan Rockafellow-Baldoni, Kenda Freeman, Jim Remington

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Training can assist in overcoming gaps in disaster response. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program (WTP) funds a network of nonprofit organizations, or grantees, that deliver peer-reviewed safety and health training curricula to workers across a variety of occupational sectors. Grantees’ experiences providing training for recovery workers after numerous disasters show the following issues need to be addressed to better protect the safety and health of recovery workers: (1) regulations and guidance documents not sufficient to protect workers; (2) protecting responders’ health and safety which is a core value; (3) improving communication between responders and communities to assist in decision-making and guiding safety and health planning; (4) partnerships critical for disaster response; and (5) greater attention to protecting communities disproportionately affected by disasters. This article provides insight into addressing these recurring issues and utilizes them as part of a continuous quality improvement process for disaster responders that may help to reduce responder injuries, illness, and death during future disasters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-112
Number of pages9
JournalNew Solutions
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Nov 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • disaster recovery
  • disaster response
  • safety and health training
  • training


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