Tip of the week: Drill for internal disasters

Emergency Management Alert, September 2, 2008

Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, IA, evacuated on June 13 after floodwaters rose on its downtown campus as a result of torrential rains. The facility is now reviewing its response and incorporating proposed changes into the emergency operations plan, says Joanie McMahon, administrative supervisor of emergency management at the hospital.

One piece of advice McMahon provides is to hold drills for internal disasters. In her experience, most of the exercises in which she participated—especially those coordinated with outside agencies—involved external crises away from the hospital. Also drill massive internal disasters that affect your facilities, she says.

For more on lessons learned in this real life disaster, go to The cost is $10. Briefings on Hospital Safety subscribers received this story with their subscriptions.


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