The purpose of emergency planning is to provide the basis for systematic responses to emergencies that threaten an organization and the records and information necessary for continuing operations. Main ContentIn the past, the HCO EOP was commonly (and inaccurately) referred to as the disaster plan. The management structure and methodology that will be used in an emergency, including the organization and operation of the internal HCO Incident Command Post (ICP). Methods for adequately processing and disseminating information during an emergency, including names and contact information for external liaisons and contacts at other HCOs and the jurisdictional level (Tier 3). Guidance on how to develop and release public messages during emergencies, including coordination with the jurisdiction (Tier 3) public information function. The structure of the EOP in emergency management is becoming more standardized, and HCOs should consider conforming to this structured approach.
The material developed for the EOP should be formatted for ease of use during response and recovery yet must remain comprehensive. EOP Base Plan - Provides an understanding of how the organization responds and how it interfaces with the outside environment during response. The approach to emergency preparedness and response for these Tier 1 assets can be relatively simple. Where to obtain information on whether public health emergency powers have been invoked, allowing release of private patient information, and other deviations from standard medical practice. All the preparation in the world will not matter if you do not also plan out the specific course of action you will take when a disaster strikes. Being prepared for a natural disaster, infectious disease outbreak or other emergency where many injured or ill people need medical care while maintaining ongoing operations is a significant challenge for local health systems.
Health care providers’ focus on emergency-preparedness activities waxes and wanes, reflecting the many pressures and competing demands they face. Using the lens of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, this study examined the activities of emergency-preparedness coalitions in 10 U.S. While hospitals and public health departments participated in all emergency-preparedness coalitions in the communities studied, involvement of nonhospital providers and other stakeholders varied significantly across the communities (see Table 1). When working with nontraditional partners, community coalitions reported difficulty in aligning goals and securing buy in from those who view emergency management as outside their scope of responsibility.
Both hospital and community practice respondents acknowledged a sense of alienation from each other, noting that the smaller the practice, the more difficult it is to participate and have a voice in community collaborations.
Most primary care respondents agreed that physicians are focused mainly on their patients’ day-to-day needs and do not see preparedness as part of their mission. A few respondents reported that competition did affect preparedness collaborations, particularly when hospital leaders are guarded about sharing capabilities and needs with peers at other institutions.
During the H1N1 pandemic, for example, some coalitions developed plans to distribute supplies in advance. Ultimately, nearly all respondents agreed that successful coalitions require ongoing attention to relationships.
Nearly all hospitals working with both hospital-employed physicians and independent community-based physicians reported that hospital-employed physicians are easier to engage, suggesting that markets with larger physician groups and more hospital employment of physicians would be better positioned to build integrated surge-capacity plans. Because of the generally collegial approach to preparedness activities, respondents reported that tighter hospital affiliations in consolidated markets had little impact.
While all providers felt the strain of competing demands in allocating resources for emergency preparedness, rural providers were particularly strapped.
Respondents did report that local partnerships and emergency response in small towns were more cohesive because of strong day-to-day relationships among health care providers, first-hand knowledge of the population they serve and a strong community feel. Across sites, respondents consistently reported that hospitals and hospital-owned physician practices typically are much more involved in emergency-preparedness coalitions than other stakeholders, reflecting both the federal financial support hospitals receive for preparedness activities and their size, structure and resources. There are two general approaches policy makers could consider to broaden participation in emergency-preparedness coalitions: providing incentives for more stakeholders to join existing preparedness coalitions or building preparedness into activities providers already are pursuing. This study examined the activities of community-based emergency-preparedness coalitions in 10 communities. Fortunately, this has begun to change as the EOP evolves into a guide to address less overwhelming emergencies and hazard threats.
Figure 2-1 provides a synopsis of the EOP structure demonstrated in the National Response Plan (NRP)[8] and the example below provides an EOP structure and format specifically for HCOs. However, these entities may find themselves, during a major incident, compelled to participate in the community response beyond simply referring patients to a hospital or closing down their clinical operations.
The organizing body must have the ability to manage ongoing EMP activities and, during response, to perform incident management processes, such as incident action planning and disseminating information to its participants. Emergency preparedness requires coordination of diverse entities at the local, regional and national levels. There are two general approaches policy makers could consider to broaden participation in emergency-preparedness coalitions: providing incentives for more stakeholders to join existing coalitions or building preparedness into activities providers already are pursuing. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, many health care providers have adopted emergency-preparedness plans, including participation in such activities as community-wide drills and tabletop exercises, to strengthen their ability to respond to a disaster.
By April 26, the government determined that H1N1 represented a national public health emergency and began releasing stores of personal-protective equipment and antiviral medications to states from the strategic national stockpile.


First, preparedness activities, such as planning, training and participating in drills, do not generate revenue for health care providers but have costs in staff time and materials. Few communities involve independent practitioners other than maintaining a list of those willing to volunteer in the event of a disaster, for which no special training or expertise in disaster response is required. Nonmedical stakeholders, such as police, fire, coroners, school systems and employers, have varying degrees of involvement in medical emergency planning collaboration. According to respondents, state and local medical societies generally have not played an important role to date in helping small practices to collaborate with each other or other stakeholders. In practice, sharing happened less formally; for example, a single institution would make a request through the coalition and another coalition member would respond. In some hospital systems, the system’s preparedness plan directly encompassed physician practices owned by the hospital system.
Rural respondents reported depending on buy in from a smaller pool of institutional leaders, and these leaders did not always perceive value in allocating limited funding and staff time for emergency management and participation in coalitions. For example, outside Seattle, three small rural hospitals pooled funds to hire a shared emergency manager across the facilities. As one rural South Carolina respondent noted, a small town in which people know and look after their neighbors can help responders identify and protect more vulnerable community members in an emergency situation. However, most attention has focused on population-level management of obesity or chronic illness rather than disaster preparedness and response.
Policy makers could encourage groups whose participation is currently limited in most communities, such as independent physician practices, to join traditional preparedness coalitions that meet regularly to develop joint plans or coordinate responses. For example, programs that offer extra payment to primary care practices to coordinate care of patients with specific chronic conditions might also encourage and reward coordination related to emergency preparedness or the creation of business continuity plans. Survival also means maintaining the competitive position and financial stability of an organization immediately following and continuing long after an emergency. For early response activities, the EOP uses operational checklists (or job action sheets) for designated functions. The most effective way to combat these destructive elements is to have a clear, comprehensive, well-practiced response plan in place.
Given the diversity of stakeholders, fragmentation of local health care systems and limited resources, developing and sustaining broad community coalitions focused on emergency preparedness is difficult. Maintaining preparedness is a daunting task, given that emergencies can spring up at a national, regional or local level and take forms as varied as a global pandemic, a regional hurricane or a local outbreak of food-borne illness. The H1N1 influenza pandemic was the most recent national event that required large-scale preparedness and response.
Respondents reported that CDC guidance was generally well received, and nearly all respondents turned to the CDC on a regular basis during the H1N1 pandemic for information and guidance.
Given the low probability of certain events, stockpiling supplies and committing staff to emergency preparedness often are not high institutional priorities.4 In addition, community coalitions require competitors to work collaboratively. Regional or specialty-based medical societies may maintain similar lists and can provide basic training in disaster planning through continuing medical education.
A hospital respondent in another community coalition cited reluctance to work with nursing homes because of the perception that they are primarily looking for a place to offload patients in an emergency.
However, respondents across all sites generally agreed that providers put normal competitive dynamics aside for preparedness efforts and meet and share information on capacity and supply chains when needed. Many respondents noted issues with securing adequate amounts of personal-protective equipment.
As one respondent said, “Rural hospitals are facing huge budgetary issues right now. Each of these factors may affect how planning responsibilities, staff and information are most efficiently shared in preparation for and during a disaster.
An emergency management plan is a unique, detailed guide for times of great stress and crisis.
Later stages of response, and initial stages of recovery, should be addressed by a proactive management method that emphasizes documentation of response objectives, strategies, and specific tactics.
And, unlike other events that health care organizations must prepare for, such as Joint Commission inspections, there are no predictable, short-term consequences for failing to engage in collaborative, community-level disaster planning. The focus on hospitals reflects their historic importance in providing staff, space for planning and response, and treatment of emergency victims, including such specialized services as decontamination or burn care.
Some health systems did expect employed physicians in community practices to work collaboratively in disaster planning.
No rural respondents described working with their state office of rural health on emergency preparedness.
Lack of time, training and sometimes simply awareness that they have a role in disaster response also are important factors. Sixty-seven telephone interviews were conducted between June 2011 and May 2012 with representatives of state and local emergency management agencies and health departments, emergency-preparedness coalitions, hospital emergency preparedness coordinators, primary care practices and other organizations working on emergency preparedness and response.
Other respondents reported frequent communication among competing hospitals on shared pandemic plans and hospital policies for emergencies. The result of the planning process is a written records and information emergency management plan.


Management approves this plan and provides the necessary authority, structure, policies, procedures, and resources to guide the organization through an emergency. Refer to the sample emergency management plan in the sidebar as you read the following sections. The Components of an Emergency Management Plan Policy Statement Emergency plans should include the policy established in the development process.
Responsibilities and Authority The policy statement will describe broad responsibilities of the key personnel.
It may also require aggressive action on the part of facility staff (for example, to put out a fire or resolve a medical emergency). Task Organization Organizational size may dictate that several teams be involved in plan activities. If several teams will be involved, each team and respective member responsibilities should be included in the plan. If citizen or corporate partners are included in the emergency process, list them in the plan. This space is for breaking down, in as much detail as possible, the steps that you, your staff, and youth will take in response to the disaster at hand. Information Distribution Procedures The emergency plan should explain the methods [by which] employees would communicate if an emergency event occurs. While the on-duty support staff take responsibility for moving youth there and handing out critical supplies, the director (or lead staff person) takes responsibility for turning off the gas, closing exterior doors and windows, and shutting off lights. For example, emergency or vital records and information may be transferred to the requestor via a special color-coded mail pouch.
If the facility is no longer habitable, the local or regional evacuation plan comes into play.Below the procedures area is a space to list the critical supplies and resources that the specific disaster scenario demands.
Preparedness Checklist The emergency plan must address specific emergencies and how to handle them. Since there is a possibility that an evacuation will be necessary in the wake of a tornado, this plan calls for distribution of all the facility’s Go-Bags. It must provide for both major and minor emergencies and should include both site-specific and community-wide events. The first aid kit, if not already in the safe room, would be brought there as well, in addition to extra flashlights and a battery-powered radio for listening to weather updates as they are broadcast.The area below the supplies and resources section is for listing emergency contact information that applies to the specific disaster scenario.
Organizations should have a checklist covering each emergency and the steps necessary to prepare for and control the emergency.
For example, a response plan for a medical emergency might list the local fire, rescue squad, and police emergency numbers. Since the only real response to a tornado involves sheltering and riding it out, there is no number listed here.The final area on the form is for detailing the recovery processes that will help return life to normal when the disaster is over. These steps should be continuous or sequential from the preparedness phase to the response phase for each emergency addressed.
The plan should show when an emergency status is upgraded from one phase to the next phase.
Recovery Checklist A recovery checklist should also show the continuing steps from the response phase to the recovery phase. The response checklist should indicate brief statements regarding particular activities that should be performed in the recovery phase. Training Programs Employees will not follow the plan properly if they have not been trained how to use it. A training program outline should be included in the plan to document subjects in which employees have been trained and the frequency the training was administered.
No one plan can account for every possible nuance of every disaster—the best you can hope for is that, by taking the time to anticipate your response, you will be prepared to handle any situation when it arises.
But take a few moments now to walk through the fire response plan above.Obviously, the answer to the big question here is evacuation. Testing Procedures The plan must include goals, objectives, and schedules for conducting exercises or simulations. The first step requires the person responding to the fire to pull the fire alarm, which is the facility’s signal for an immediate building evacuation, the plan for which is referenced in the procedures. Specific types of exercises to be used for the most likely emergencies should also be in the plan. This plan, already designed, specifies who is responsible for gathering needed supplies, what the procedures are for getting to the rally point, and so on.Next, the responder must evaluate the situation. Make additional copies of the disaster response plan template (Appendix H) and begin drafting response plans for each one.



Best emergency preparedness kits
Psa gov ie prosearch
Earthquake sites map
Interesting info about tornadoes


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