Pandemics, Epidemics and Earthquakes

Pandemics, Epidemics and Earthquakes

Mark Malcolm

9.4.2007

Mark Malcolm

The only full-time coroner in Arkansas, Mark Malcolm is the state’s expert on the potential avian flu pandemic. Malcolm worked for several months on tsunami recovery efforts in Southeast Asia, and in June 2007, he was appointed to the FEMA National Advisory Council, created by Congress to provide advice and guidance to the FEMA Administration on all aspects of preparedness and emergency management. Additionally, Malcolm serves as the Director of Mass Fatality Response for the Arkansas Department of Health.

Mark Malcolm, Pulaski County’s full-time coroner for almost 20 years, discusses new mass fatality preparation and plans in a post-9/11 and post-Hurricane Katrina world. Malcolm speaks about his collaboration with the Arkansas Medical Department to create an “all-hazards” plan in order to assure a capable reaction in case of a disaster in Arkansas. As morgue director in Thailand following the 2004 Asian Tsunami and director of field operations for Kenyan National Emergency Services, Malcolm addresses his own experiences of assisting other states and countries in disaster relief. He also reflects on the lessons learned from observing different situations in order to create a most-effective plan for Arkansas. Having served on the National FEMA Board for three years, Malcolm criticizes the cooperation between local, state and federal government in emergency situations. Malcolm is also critical of remarks made by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff following Hurricane Katrina. Malcolm says Chertoff’s apathetic attitude should be “a shot heard around the world” to all governors that they need to get their own mass fatality plans.