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Emergency Management - Inventory

What are the requirements regarding an emergency inventory?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

An organization needs to establish a process to manage its emergency inventory, however there is no requirement for centralization of the inventory. The inventory must be itemized.  The emergency inventory includes, but is not limited to, personal protective equipment, water, fuel, and medical, surgical and medication related resources and assets.  The organization should conduct an annual inventory review to determine if all items assessed are available for use during an emergency.  The inventory and annual review must be documented. 

The Joint Commission recognizes that it can be problematic with "just in time" purchasing and recognizes it is important to use stock with a shelf-life. Tracking assets and inventory for a year is recommended in order to accurately ascertain what the capabilities and needs are for the organization. Many organizations consider emergency requirements when establishing par levels. Some healthcare systems create a process by which to store and transport emergency inventory between system locations. 

Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) or other agreements may be formed with other entities to help the organization maintain its inventory during an emergency. However, MOUs are most useful during isolated emergencies, and are often not effective during large emergency events impacting a large region.  Therefore, it is very important to test and/or document this along with the other five critical areas during an exercise or actual event to look for areas of risk. If an event or exercise is initiated, one of the initial responses should be for those entities holding emergency inventories to report available inventories to the incident commander. 

Manual: Nursing Care Center
Chapter: Emergency Management EM
Last reviewed by Standards Interpretation: May 05, 2022 Represents the most recent date that the FAQ was reviewed (e.g. annual review).
First published date: April 11, 2016 This Standards FAQ was first published on this date.
This page was last updated on May 05, 2022 with update notes of: Review only, FAQ is current Types of changes and an explanation of change type: Editorial changes only: Format changes only. No changes to content. | Review only, FAQ is current: Periodic review completed, no changes to content. | Reflects new or updated requirements: Changes represent new or revised requirements.
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