Management of corpses during disasters is less about danger to citizens’ physical health than one may believe. Instead, the true danger of not properly disposing dead bodies is its effect on the mental health in the community.
According to US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, “The relationship between natural disasters and communicable diseases is frequently misconstrued.” The truth is that deaths caused by natural disasters do not cause epidemics. Only those who have died from an epidemic such as typhoid or the plague can spread disease. The health risks from those killed during a disaster may include diarrhea from drinking water contaminated by fecal material. However, this is easily preventable by disinfecting the drinking water on a regular basis.
Assisting the survivors after a natural disaster is the most important task in emergency management. Second to that is the removal of the deceased, says World Health Organization. However, it is a great concern that the amount of death, seeing corpses, smelling the decomposition, as well as not being able to find their loved ones traumatizes the survivors.
To mitigate psychological damage, teams should be sent out to remove dead bodies. The corpses then need to be stored in morgues, like the BLU-MED Deployable Mobile Morgue. Warehouses may provide space, unfortunately they must be temperature controlled to prevent decay. Further, after a disaster, finding a usable warehouse may be difficult to impossible to find. Having a deployable mobile morgue solves these issues.
Organization of bodies by taking photos and detailed descriptions is extremely important so that the survivors can find their deceased loved ones. The psychological damage of not properly disposing of bodies based on social and religious ceremonies cause longer-term damage than the natural disaster itself.