© Pan American Health Organization, 2005.

A presentation of the Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief of the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO/WHO.

The views expressed, the recommendations made, and the terms employed do not necessarily reflect the current policies or opinions of the Pan American Health Organization or of its Member States.

The Pan American Health Organization welcomes requests for permission to reproduce or translate, in part or in full, this work. Applications and inquiries should be addressed to the Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief, Pan American Health Organization, 525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, USA; fax: (202) 775-4578; e-mail:

This material has been made possible through the financial support of the Disaster Preparedness Program of the European Union Humanitarian Aid Office, ECHO (DIPECHO-III). Division of Humanitarian Assistance, Peace and Security of the Canadian International Development Agency (HAPS/CIDA), the Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (OFDA/USAID), and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) have also contributed in the production and dissemination.

PAHO/WHO would like to especially acknowledge the work and contributions of Daniel Comarazamy, the Structural Stability Group of the Technological Institute in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Tony Gibbs, Consulting Engineering Partnership, Barbados.