Courage Amid Chaos: Inside the World of Disaster Response

Dr. Elizabeth Greig grabbing relief supplies from a vehicle.

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Dr. Elizabeth Greig stresses the importance of taking a long-term approach in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

When disaster occurs, Elizabeth Greig, M.D., runs toward the chaos.

For 15 years, she has followed in the wake of hurricanes, earthquakes and other hazardous events to help the world’s most vulnerable communities heal and rebuild. As the co-director of the Global Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, this is where she thrives.

“A thoughtful, calculated disaster response is so important for the decades of fallout after a disaster,” she said. “You need to understand the long-term implications of what you do on day one.”

Dr. Greig and her team deploy to areas that have been hit hard by tragedies. They provide medical care and essential resources, bolster infrastructure and strengthen the health sector. Sometimes, they construct buildings. As of April 23, a hospital they helped erect in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is still functioning despite the current gang violence.

“There is a ton of opportunity post-disaster to shore up infrastructure,” Dr. Greig said. “We are initial responders, but then we really started looking at longer-term affects and how we can build these communities back better.”

Tune in to the latest Inside U Miami Medicine episode to hear her talk all things disaster response, crisis management, resilience, climate change and so much more.

Find the episode wherever you get your podcasts or on Apple podcasts.

Tags: disaster response, Dr. Elizabeth Greig, Global Institute for Community Health and Development