Majority of US Hospitals Are Prepared for Disaster

The majority of U.S. hospitals participating in the National Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) are prepared for disaster scenarios, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant (HHSA) Secretary for Preparedness and Response. All U.S. states, eight U.S. territories, and four large metropolitan areas participate in the cooperative agreement grant program.

Of the more than 6,300 hospitals across the U.S., more than 85 percent take advantage of the program, in which they receive federal funds, technical assistance, and guidelines for hospital preparedness. Improved preparedness measures include improved, interoperable communications systems; detailed evacuation plans; sheltering patients and staff in place during a disaster; and mass fatality response.

The HHSA’s Website (http://www.phe.gov/preparedness/pages/default.aspx) details the resources available to assist federal, state, local, tribal and territorial emergency planners in all-hazards public health and medical emergency preparedness and response. The site offers important information about the “federal emergency response structure along with guidance and reference tools for multi-jurisdictional preparedness and planning,” including:

Federal Public Health Response

Federal Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Support Functions

For more information about the HPP program, resources available, and the disaster preparedness improvements made by U.S. hospitals, read the full article:http://www.phe.gov/preparedness/pages/default.aspx
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http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/05/20110505a.html