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Complications with hot, cold and altitude environments in disaster management
  1. Abigail Bainbridge1,
  2. A Wolfe2 and
  3. M Hartley3,4
  1. 1 AMS Support Unit, British Army, Camberley, UK
  2. 2 AMS Support Unit, British Army, London, UK
  3. 3 GDMO, Army Medical Service 3 Medical Regiment, Preston, UK
  4. 4 DPHC, Army Medical Service 3 Medical Regiment, Kent, UK
  1. Correspondence to Maj Abigail Bainbridge, British Army, Camberley, UK; abigail.bainbridge{at}


Introduction Disaster management is the process of preparing, responding and recovering to an emergency whether that be natural or man-made. It is a time-consuming, resource-heavy process with the aim of reducing the risk of certain events and, where not possible, reducing the impact of said disaster, ensuring that the risks have been identified and appropriate rescue and recovery plan is in place.

Methods We carried out a thorough literature search on the complications of hot, cold and altitude environments in disaster management and distilled the learnings into this article.

Results The incidence of disasters of natural, man-made and complex origin is likely to continue increasing as global temperatures continue to rise.

Conclusion Disaster management in the extreme environments of hot, cold and high altitude is fraught with unique challenges, especially around the physiological response of rescuers, resource constraints and logistics. Recognising these challenges is an important aspect of planning and preparation for disaster management in these environments.

  • International health services
  • Trauma management
  • Human resource management

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  • Contributors MH, AW and AB conducted the literature review and analysis of available information, and each was responsible for writing the three main sections of the paper. AB took the lead author role, completing the final review and editing and submitting the paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Author note This is a paper commissioned as part of the Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations special issue of BMJ Military Health. This paper identifies the current issues, raising awareness in order to assist in tailoring preparation and training for the military’s response to disaster relief.