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The road less taken: Modularization and waterways as a domestic disaster response mechanism

Donald A. Donahue Jr, DHEd, MBA, FACHE, Stephen O. Cunnion, MD, PhD, MPH, Evelyn A. Godwin, MS, RN


Preparedness scenarios project the need for significant healthcare surge capacity. Current planning draws heavily from the military model, leveraging deployable infrastructure to augment or replace extant capabilities. This approach would likely prove inadequate in a catastrophic disaster, as the military model relies on forewarning and an extended deployment cycle. Local equipping for surge capacity is prohibitively costly while movement of equipment can be subject to a single point of failure. Translational application of maritime logistical techniques and an ancient mode of transportation can provide a robust and customizable approach to disaster relief for greater than 90 percent of the American population.


disaster response, surge capacity, medical care, humanitarian assistance

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