Emergency Preparedness and Response Information for Healthcare Professionals
The healthcare system plays a major role in emergency preparedness and response. Healthcare workers are responsible for everything from surveillance and reporting to diagnosing and treating illnesses. As a member of this important team, use this webpage to find technical information to help you prepare for emergency incidents. You can also find general information that will help your family prepare. By ensuring that your family is prepared you will feel more secure if you have to go to work during or after a disaster.
Even in the midst of a disaster, people will continue to seek healthcare services. It is critical that these services experience only minimal disruptions. Discuss emergency planning with your patients – especially those with chronic conditions – before a disaster occurs. When possible, encourage patients to keep an extra supply of medications and medical supplies on hand, as these may not be available during a disaster.
Consider the role you will play in a disaster. If you work for a hospital or other large healthcare entity, you may be asked to take on additional workload or duties. Keep in mind there could be a high level of staff absenteeism. Depending on your skill set and the needs of your agency, you may get shifted to a different position focusing solely on the disaster response. Your organization should have Continuity of Operations (COOp) and Emergency Operations Plans detailing how to respond to emergency situations. It is important to be familiar with these plans and participate in any training offered.
Stay informed with reliable information on emerging situations and how your work could be impacted. Always utilize reputable sources such as your agency, IDPH, or CDC. If you work for a healthcare agency and would like to be included on MCDH Communicable Disease communications, please email the Communicable Disease Coordinator.
For more information on preparing healthcare workers for disasters, please visit the following links:
Center for Disease Control and Prevention Links:
- Bioterrorism – Info for Professionals (CDC)
- Chemical Emergencies – Info for Professionals (CDC)
- Radiation Emergencies – Information for Professionals (CDC)
- Public Health Emergency: Public Health and Medical Emergency Support for a Nation Prepared (HHS)
- Health Professionals – Seasonal Flu, Pandemic Flu (US DHHS)
- Just In Time Training Library (Disaster Resistant Communities Group)
- Disaster Relief/Disaster Preparedness (American Academy of Family Physicians)
- IS-100.HCB: Introduction to the Incident Command System for Healthcare/Hospitals (FEMA)
- IS-200.HCA: Applying ICS to Healthcare Organizations (FEMA)
- Disaster Preparedness for Healthcare Professionals – Video (University of California)