American Academy of
Dedicated to Providing the Best In-Home Health Care.
American Academy of
Advancing preparedness, response, and resilience.
Preparing for the Unthinkable
"We cannot stop natural disasters but we can arm ourselves with knowledge: so many lives wouldn't have to be lost if there was enough disaster preparedness."
– Petra Němcová
Petra Němcová is an international model, television host, and philanthropist. She was on vacation in Thailand with her fiancé, Simon Atlee, in 2004 when the Indian Ocean earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck. Atlee drowned and Němcová suffered a broken pelvis and serious internal injuries, but she managed to hold on to a palm tree for eight hours until she was rescued by Thai civilians and airlifted to an inland hospital.
The term “disaster” brings to mind images of 9/11, a flooded New Orleans, and earthquake ravaged Haiti. In many circumstances – the Boston Marathon Bombing and 9/11 for example – the existing medical system was sufficient to treat the number of casualties generated. In others, the institutional medical system was itself a victim of the disaster. This was the case in New Orleans, in Joplin, Missouri, in Haiti, and in lower Manhattan for Hurricane Sandy. This would be the case following a New Madrid earthquake or during a major pandemic. It is also the daily reality in underdeveloped nations, as has been illustrated in the ongoing Ebola crisis in Western Africa.
The American Academy of Disaster Medicine (AADM) was formed to develop, promote, and promulgate professional standards in an emerging discipline that encompasses a broad spectrum of operational environments: direct disaster relief, homeland security medical operations, humanitarian assistance, stability operations, the military, and other nontraditional settings.
Initially a physician-focused professional organization, AADM amended its by-laws in 2014 to include the full range of professions that contribute to and practice disaster and operational medicine. At the same time, AADM began an aggressive outreach campaign to link myriad organization and professions into an integrated disaster medicine community. At a time when the normal rules may not apply -- the aftermath of a disaster -- common understanding and shared capabilities can be the difference between life and death. AADM exists to promote that development and integration.
AADM membership offers many personal and professional benefits:
Joint Membership option with select organizations
Training and education opportunities
Subscription to DM Practitioner (in development)
Accesss to DMWiki -- a repository of plans, policies, and procedures
Certified in Interdisciplinary Disaster Medicine (CIDM) credential
Fellow, American Academy of Disaster Medicine (FAADM) designation
AADM welcomes mutually supportive organizational affiliations, fostering:
Joint membership programs
Joint program development
Mutual publication support
Interorganizational collaboration and support
AADM also sponsors student chapters at colleges and universities.
Why Disaster Medicine?
The inadaquate response to Hurricane Katrina taught us the painful leson, that a more standardized approach to disaster response was required in the USA.
- Brian L. Brown, D.O.
I am often asked, "When will we be
prepared for all the threats we face?" My answer is—not in my lifetime.
- Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS
17th Surgeon General of the United States
Medical and health systems in the United States face the increasing probability of major emergencies or disasters involving large numbers of human casualties. Such Katrina-like events, possibly a result of terrorism or pandemic influenza, will challenge the ability of healthcae systems to adaquately care for large numbers of patients and/or victims with unusual medical needs. These events demand a specially trained workfore of physicians versed in first-responder culture, familiar with inter-agency cooperation, and comfortable with specific and unique medical and logistical challenges.
- Robert J. Mitchell, M.D.
Health care matters to all of us some of the time; public health matters to all of us all of the time.
-· C. Everett Koop, M.D.
13th Surgeon General of the United States