Emergency Management Tip: Assessing your water utilities

Emergency Management Alert, December 1, 2009

 Hospitals need water for consumption, essential care activities, equipment, and sanitary purposes. Typically, water is thought of as potable (fit to drink) or nonpotable (can be used for fire suppression, sanitation, and equipment cooling.)

Find out whether you have underground pumps or booster bumps for your water system (particularly if your facility is a high-rise facility), or sewer pumps (if you're positioned in a lower area). Ask you engineering team how they would support steam for sterilizations in the event of a disaster. Discuss water usage with your clinical team to translate water supply disruptions into loss of services, for example, the loss of dialysis service if water disruption occurs.

For more tips, check out HCPro's book, The Emergency Management Coordinator's Handbook for Hospitals.

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