Healthcare Security

How Hospitals Plan for Disaster

March 19 2014

More than a decade after 9/11, the rules of hospital emergency preparedness are still changing

By Ben Scaglione
Director, Healthcare Security Services

The events of 9/11 changed the rules of hospital emergency preparedness. More than a decade later the rules are still changing, driven by multiple high-profile events since 9/11 that have highlighted the important role of health care facilities in disaster response.

The tragedy that took place on September 11, 2001 prompted leaders of hospitals around the country to rethink their emergency response strategies. The scale of the disaster served to emphasize the need for more preparation, more training, more equipment and more involvement by hospitals around the country to respond when a large scale event occurs.

New York's hospitals were integral to the emergency response to 9/11. Hospital EMS personnel were among the first to respond to the World Trade Center site, and many hospital personnel volunteered at ground zero to attend to rescue workers. Hospitals helped in the weeks after 9/11 by providing phone banks for relatives of victims seeking to locate their loved ones, by organizing blood drives and by providing grief counseling, among other activities.

Download: How Hospitals Plan for Disasters (PDF 880kb)

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