The earthquake in Alaska last week is a good reminder about the importance of being prepared for a disaster both personally and organizationally. While it may take many months to repair the damage in Anchorage, particularly to roads, experts have praised the people of Alaska for their quick response and noted that the outcome could have been much worse. Hospitals and nursing homes in Alaska were well prepared for a disaster and were able to quickly initiate emergency operations plans to ensure services continued uninterrupted for patients in the region.
Is your hospital prepared for a natural disaster? Has your organization helped staff take steps to be personally equipped? The Hospital Preparedness Program offers tools and resources to support health system readiness for disasters. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides tools and resources for individuals to prepare for natural disasters and severe weather emergencies.
Former Director of the National Hurricane Center Marx Mayfield said, “Preparation through education is less costly than learning through tragedy.” This is a good opportunity to take stock of your hospital’s disaster response plans as we all work together to ensure Washington patients receive the best possible care.