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Alliance for Healthy Communities

Preparing for a Disaster

Hurricane Sandy, the Boston Marathon bombings, and the Oklahoma tornadoes are recent reminders that disaster can strike anywhere, anytime. The potential of earthquakes and other natural or terrorist related incidents happening in our state are very real. Although most of us would rather not think about it, preparation before an incident and coordination and collaboration during an incident, are essential for managing resources and saving lives. All Washington State healthcare professionals and facilities should know what to do and how to respond in case of an incident in our state. That knowledge starts with a basic understanding of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). You can learn more about this by taking the interactive online course in this link: http://emilms.fema.gov/IS100hcb/indexMenu.htm.

When (not if, but when) a widespread disaster strikes, it will not be business as usual. There will be a new pathway for obtaining resources, such as personnel, supplies, and equipment. There will be a centralized dispatch for personnel to respond to emergencies. Standardized terminology specific to NIMS that facilitates effective communication will be used. Plan now to familiarize yourself and your staff to the emergency infrastructure.

From the Alliance’s April 22, 2014 workshop on Emergency Preparedness: (all are PDF's)

Disaster Preparedness Checklists:

checklist clipart