Safety

Tip of the week: Disaster plans should anticipate community members’ needs

Hospital Safety Insider, January 20, 2010

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During a Christmas Eve blizzard, Norman (OK) Regional Hospital discovered reasons why emergency operations plans must also account for services to the general public who aren’t patients.
 
Because of the hospital’s location near an interstate, it opened its doors to a few dozen travelers stranded by the storm, according to The Journal Record of Oklahoma City.
 
The unexpected visitors received free food, blankets, and pillows while they rode the storm out.
 
Two delivery truck drivers also came by needing dry socks, which staff members provided, The Journal Record said.
 
Muhlenberg Community Hospital in Greenville, KY, took away similar pointers after the community experienced an ice storm in January 2009. The facility’s cafeteria did booming business with outsiders because at times it was one of the few restaurants in town with power.
 
Emergency operations plans should anticipate serving meals for community residents who can’t get food anywhere else if grocery stores and eateries don’t have electricity.



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