Bobby Knight once said "The key is not the will to win... everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important." Now that the hurricane season has officially started June 1st, it is a good time for every EMS, healthcare facility, hospital and public health emergency manager to review their plans, training and exercises. Regardless of location along the coastline, all facilities may face flooding, severe weather, and the need to shelter-in-place or evacuate their staff and patients. Having the will to devote the time and effort to prepare is key when it comes to performing during major emergencies and disasters. Read More
On January 9, 2014, approximately 10,000 gallons of the chemical called 4-methyl-cyclohexane-methanol (MCHM) leaked from the storage tank into the Elk River in west central West Virginia. Within a short time the chemical was swept downstream, roughly one mile and a half, into the intake of the domestic water treatment facility. The pollutant quickly overwhelmed the filtration system contaminating the single source of water for the city of Charleston and the surrounding counties. Authorities struggled to determine how much danger the little-known chemical posed.
Some of life's best lessons are learned at the worst times. This is especially true for planners during times of disaster. How we apply these lessons learned (or earned) strongly influences our response to future events. This simple axiom proved accurate after the May 22, 2011, EF5 multiple-vortex tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri.
Shortly after the devastating tornado, leaders from local hospitals gathered to share insights into their experience and assemble a list of lessons learned to be applied to future events. Read More
Year after year, federal and state funding for hospital preparedness programs has been diminishing, therefore it's important to know what options are available for funding. Read on to gain a better understanding of how Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) grant funding is applied-for and distributed. Read More
Hospitals and emergency responders will likely go through a difficult transition over the next few years looking for funds to continue their preparedness mission. Historically, especially prior to 2001, most emergency response equipment and training purchases were made using local resources. Not uncommonly, hospitals reached out to nearby businesses for financial support of their emergency preparedness initiatives. That changed dramatically after 9/11 when the federal government stepped in and began paying for many of these purchases through a formal grant process. Now, as a result of significant budget cuts, hospitals and local response agencies will need to once again begin budgeting for their preparedness needs through local resources. The recent experience of a hospital in Kentucky may pave the way for ongoing preparedness in the future. Read More