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
Natural and technological disasters can cause a great deal of human suffering and loss of homes, businesses, and personal possessions. Their impact can be so great that the affected community becomes dependent on outside help and resources to cope with the aftermath. In many instances the large numbers of people who are suddenly ill, injured or displaced can exceed the capacity of the local health care system to care for them. In addition, local hospitals may be damaged, roads blocked or made inaccessible, and personnel may be unable to perform their duties. The disaster can hamper the local community's ability to provide routine, non-emergency healthcare which may result in an increase in illness and death in segments of the population that might not have been directly affected by the disaster. These healthcare problems are compounded when large numbers of people are placed in shelters. As a result, surrounding communities are often called upon to provide assistance. Read more