Safety

Earthquake safety for hospitals: Before, during, and after

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance, December 5, 2020

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

by Brian Ward

It behooves all hospitals to make a plan for earthquake safety and response. Even though they might be rare or unlikely where you are, that doesn’t make them less dangerous when they finally hit.

While many view earthquakes as a West Coast issue, the truth is that 45 states and U.S. territories are at moderate to high risk for earthquakes. Some of this risk is from natural features like fault lines and tectonic plates. However, more areas have been put at risk for shakes due to man-made causes, such as oil fracking.

Out of five of the most devastating earthquakes in U.S. history, three happened in California, which is why the state takes such great precautions in its building codes. But one happened across the country in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1886, the 7.7-magnitude event lasted one minute and killed 60 people. And in 1964, a 9.2-magnitude earthquake struck Prince William Sound, Alaska, 80 miles east of Anchorage. The shake was so strong it caused the ground to liquefy, started tsunamis, and killed 139 people.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

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