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Vigil at Binghamton University

Nurse advocates for improved disaster planning

She has seen houses ripped from their foundations, elderly people evacuated from their homes without their medications and rescue dogs whose feet were burned in the rubble of the World Trade Center.

Laura Terriquez-Kasey comes by her understanding of disasters the hard way — through working at New York City hospitals, serving in the U.S. Army and reserves and traveling as a member of a disaster medical assistance team, a specialized group mobilized by the Department of Homeland Security in catastrophic emergencies.

A clinical lecturer at Binghamton University’s Decker School of Nursing with more than 35 years of nursing experience, Terriquez-Kasey thinks it’s time to respond, at local, regional and national levels, to the same pressing disaster-related questions she routinely poses to her students.

“What do we do about it?” “How could this be prevented?” “What can we do better?”

That’s why Terriquez-Kasey organizes an annual disaster drill on Binghamton’s campus. It’s also what motivates her to teach courses on topics such as emerging threats as well as disaster preparation for community and public health nurses.

“I see disaster education as a mission,” she said, “because many lives could be saved if we could better educate people.”

Learn more about the work that Terriquez-Kasey does.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08