Q. What kinds of situations should be included in an organization's emergency management plans?
Updated | November 24, 2008
A. All organizations must have an emergency management program (Emergency Management Plan or Emergency Operations Plan, depending on the program type) so that patient/resident/client care can be continued effectively in the event of emergency situations. Health care organizations that offer emergency services or are designated as disaster receiving stations must have an Emergency Operations Plan that addresses both external and internal disasters. An Emergency Management Plan should be general and allow specific responses to the types of disasters likely to be encountered by the organization and applies to business occupancies. The emergency management program shall be based on the priorities identified in the Hazardous Vulnerability Analysis (HVA). Based on an evaluation of incident probability/frequency specific to the organization, disasters that might be considered in an organization's plan include, but are not limited to, (based on definitions of Red Cross and the Disaster Relief Act of 1974) Natural disasters, including the following types:
- Meteorological disasters: cyclones, typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, hailstorms, snowstorms and droughts;
- Topological disasters: landslides, avalanches, mudflows and floods;
- Disasters that originate underground: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis (seismic sea waves);
- Biological disasters: communicable disease epidemics and insect swarms (locusts).
Man-made disasters, including the following types:
- Warfare: conventional warfare (bombardment, blockade and siege) and non-conventional warfare (nuclear, chemical and biological);
- Civil disasters: riots and demonstrations, strikes;
- Criminal/terrorist action: bomb threat/incident, nuclear, chemical, or biological attack, hostage incident;
- Accidents: transportation (planes, trucks, automobiles, trains and ships), structural collapse (buildings, dams, bridges, mines, and other structures), explosions, fires, chemical (toxic waste and pollution) and biological (sanitation).