History has shown society’s vulnerability to a myriad of disasters—but it also has shown how preparedness efforts can have a significant impact on disaster outcomes. Despite an element of unpredictability that is inherent in many natural and manmade environmental emergencies, planning and preparation are powerful and effective tools for managing these situations.
For healthcare providers, planning and preparation for environmental crises are paramount to safeguarding patients, staff, and office infrastructure; minimizing adverse effects; preventing losses; and facilitating recovery efforts.
This article will:
- Examine important aspects of the preparedness effort, such as performing a risk assessment, developing an emergency response plan, evaluating resources, and training staff
- Provide a checklist to facilitate emergency planning and discussion, and
- Offer online resources that can provide further information and guidance.