Strategizing Public Health Disaster Management: A Case Study of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods in Bhutan

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Amity Doolittle
Essay Abstract: 
Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) have high potential for significant destruction and devastating impacts on communities in the Himalayan nation of Bhutan. Bhutan currently lacks a comprehensive disaster plan, and strategizing management techniques is a necessity for beginning creation of such a plan. I conclude that community-­‐based management techniques are most appropriate for strategizing disaster management for a Bhutanese GLOF, based on analysis of a historical account of a Bhutanese GLOF from 1994, Bhutan’s public health infrastructure and policy, and study of current community-­‐based systems in Bhutan. In addition, I complete a vulnerability analysis of political, economic, natural, and public health vulnerabilities to a GLOF event, and make recommendations for the Royal Government of Bhutan to plan for and strengthen resilience capacity for a GLOF in Bhutan.