Emergency Preparedness (2023)


Emergency preparedness encompasses the planning and response to disasters. A disasteris definedby the World Health Organization (WHO) as a sudden phenomenon of sufficient magnitude to overwhelm the resources of a hospital, region, or location requiring external support.[1] Based on this definition, a disaster could be as massive as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, or as small as a single patient with an infectious disease. Defining a disaster ultimately depends on the type ofevent, timing, the severity of illness or injuries, local preparedness, and resources available. Disasters are either internal or external disasters. Internal disasters are events that occur within the walls of the hospital itself, such as an active shooter, power outage, or radiation exposure.[2]

External disasters occur at locations separate from the hospital, such as transportation incidents or industrial accidents. Disasters can be both internal and external disasters concomitantly, such as natural disasters that cause mass casualties as well as damage hospital structure. Disasters can be acute or ongoing. Acute disasters have a general time of onset of the time of an event occurring. Acute disasters have a typical patient flow, which produces numerous low acuity patients presenting to the hospital, overwhelming the surge capacity, or the number of patients the facility can care for presenting at a single time. This surge event is followed by the majority of patients presenting by personal transport and later EMS or prehospital transport of the critically ill. Peak volumes in acute disasters are expected at two to three hours post-event. Evolving disasters such as infectious pandemics have agradual progression to critical populations, but volumes and resource strain remain for extended periods. Disaster types can further subdivide into categories such as natural disasters, chemical disasters, and bioterrorism; each subdivision produces a specific injury or exposure profile and individual strain on resources that can guide emergency preparedness planning and response.

Issues of Concern

Emergency preparedness encompasses diverse fields within the hospital and regional settings. Planning membership groups should address key aspects across these fields including but not limited to: public safety, facilities, logistics, pharmacy, transportation, clinical patient care, non-clinical patient care, media/public relations, communications, radiation, infection control, and administration. These key members must develop specific plans to address the facility or region they serve toprioritize resources to address the most severe disasters they may face in an ongoing or continual process of evaluation and training.[3]

Emergency preparedness follows three main stages:

  1. Emergency Planning

    • Planning/Prevention–focuses on providing protection from disasters on both the domestic and international levels in an attemptto limit the loss of life and reduce the financial impact of disaster response. Planning includes care, evacuation, and environmental planning and response standards. The UN implemented the Sendai Framework in March 2015 which emphasizes “reduction of disaster risks, preventing new risks, limiting existing disaster risks, strengthening community and global disaster resilience.”[4]

    • Risk Assessment–identifies high priority and vulnerability areas and directs mitigation efforts. The goal of risk assessment is the identification of the possible disasters that challenge the area including both internal and external disasters, collecting resource inventory, identifying a facility or region's vulnerabilities based on location and resources, and generating a priorities list. A single facility's risk assessment should indicate both natural disasters that are knowntoaffect the area as well as possible mass casualty events, understand facility capabilities in regards to the patient population, identify vulnerabilities such a specialty coverage or transportation, and focus on priorities such as limiting the loss of life. As a basis for the evaluation of potential hazards, the SMAUG model prioritizes the potential risks associated with various disasters. SMAUG stands for seriousness, manageability, acceptability, urgency, and growth. Each risk has a score of high, medium, or low. Seriousness includes an evaluation of impact both in the financial evaluation as well as the potential for lives lost. Manageability is the ability to mitigate the hazard. Acceptability is the degree ofacceptability regarding impact. Urgency is the determination of how crucial it is to address the hazard. Growth is the potential for the hazard to increase in probability.[5]

    • Mitigation–actions performed before the disaster occurs that includes proactive steps to limit vulnerability and address previously identified risks to support the response to a disaster.[6] Mitigation strategies are generallydisaster specific. Mitigation measures can be as simple as mounting appliances to the wall in earthquake-prone areas, including an emergency power or natural gas shut off, or as broad-scale as creating floodways or canals in flood-prone areas. In general, mitigation efforts are investments in facilities or regions to limit response from disasters as identified by risk assessment.

    • Preparedness- measures taken to prepare for a disaster. FEMA outlines general preparedness guidelines for facilities that include quantities of nonperishable food, water, and power.

    • Developing a response team–detailing clearlydefined leaders, roles, and responsibilities addressing key issues in emergency response.

    • Writing an emergency plan–written emergency response plan details the overall strategy for responding to a disaster once it occurs. The written emergency response plan should be directed to specific types of disasters, detailed procedures, as well as identify leaders and training schedules for the emergency plan to be successfully implemented when the time comes.[7]

      (Video) emergency preparedness

    (Video) Government Cover-Up – UFO’s and Balloons just a SMOKESCREEN
  2. Emergency Response- The response phase focuses on executing the disaster plan. Emergency response encompasses both facility level as well as a regional and national level planning. The initial primary concern is fulfilling the basic humanitarian needs of the population affected as well as limiting the loss of life. Types of medical care will ultimately depend on the disaster type. A substantial task within the response phase is coordinating efforts between a facility and regional response, particularly when the demand has exceeded the facility's capacity. The National Response Framework is a US government guide for a national response to disasters and explains responsibilities at the local, state, and federal levels which can be integrated into the response process.[8] In general, there are two response tactics:

    • Shelter in place–in the basic form is establishing a safe location within the confines of the facility and remaining in place until the “all clear” is called. At a facility level, this is caring for those injured via immediate resources available.

    • Evacuation–leaving the facility or region affected by the disaster. Depending on the scenario, resources may be left in place or transferred as possible.

  3. Salvage and Recovery-The salvage and recovery phase occurs after determination of the initial response, the immediate threat to human life is under control, and efforts begin toreturn the facility or area to normal operational function as quickly as possible. The most intense circumstances would include ongoing wartime environments or prolonged epidemics which inhibit salvage and recovery for years.

Clinical Significance

In the United States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which operates as part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), controls emergency management. Initially, management of all disasters is at the local level via facility groups, police, fire, and EMS. Once local authorities become overwhelmed, the disaster management transitions to the state level, with FEMA acting as an assisting agency rather than an authoritative leader. FEMA organizes the nation and its territories into ten regions. The Citizen Corps is a volunteer organization that works to educate and train the public for emergency response. These services are performed locally and organized through DHS.

(Video) MAJOR! - You NEED To KNOW This For PREPPING (SURVIVAL) Stockpile That LAST Forever

In the event of a terror-related disaster, the Secretary of Homeland Security starts the National Response Framework (NRF), which integrates federal resources with state and local resources for the management of resources at the lowest possible level.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides education and information regarding specific disaster types, including infectious diseases, chemical and radiation exposure, and natural disaster or weather-related incidents.

Review Questions



Gebbie KM, Qureshi K. Emergency and disaster preparedness: core competencies for nurses. Am J Nurs. 2002 Jan;102(1):46-51. [PubMed: 11839908]


Metzler EC, Kodali BS, Urman RD, Flanagan HL, Rego MS, Vacanti JC. Strategies to maintain operating room functionality following the complete loss of the recovery room due to an internal disaster. Am J Disaster Med. 2015 Winter;10(1):5-12. [PubMed: 26102040]


Perry RW, Lindell MK. Preparedness for emergency response: guidelines for the emergency planning process. Disasters. 2003 Dec;27(4):336-50. [PubMed: 14725091]


Carabine E. Revitalising Evidence-based Policy for the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030: Lessons from Existing International Science Partnerships. PLoS Curr. 2015 Apr 23;7 [PMC free article: PMC4423845] [PubMed: 25969796]


Arnold JL. Risk and risk assessment in health emergency management. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2005 May-Jun;20(3):143-54. [PubMed: 16018501]


Luna EM. Disaster mitigation and preparedness: the case of NGOs in the Philippines. Disasters. 2001 Sep;25(3):216-26. [PubMed: 11570335]

(Video) Emergency Preparedness | How Ready Are You, Really?


Bin Shalhoub AA, Khan AA, Alaska YA. Evaluation of disaster preparedness for mass casualty incidents in private hospitals in Central Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J. 2017 Mar;38(3):302-306. [PMC free article: PMC5387908] [PubMed: 28251227]


Holloway R, Rasmussen SA, Zaza S, Cox NJ, Jernigan DB. Updated preparedness and response framework for influenza pandemics. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2014 Sep 26;63(RR-06):1-18. [PubMed: 25254666]


What is an emergency preparedness? ›

The term refers to the steps you take to make sure you are safe before, during and after an emergency or natural disaster. These plans are important for your safety in both natural disasters and man-made disasters.

What are the four phases of emergency preparedness? ›

These common elements allow you to prepare for and protect yourself and your animals from disaster. Emergency managers think of disasters as recurring events with four phases: Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.

What is an example of emergency preparedness? ›

Locate safe places in your home for each type of disaster. Determine the best evacuation routes from your home. Become trained in first aid and CPR. Show each family member how and where to shut off utilities (water, gas, electricity).

What are the 3 C's in the emergency action steps? ›

The Three C's and Your Facility
  • Check. The first C of emergency response is 'check' which is meant to represent checking for anything that may be unsafe. ...
  • Call. In a disaster situation, it is always important to 'call' emergency personnel or local authorities regardless of the situation. ...
  • Care.

What are the 3 key things you can do to prepare for an emergency? ›

3 Ways to Be Prepared for an Emergency
  1. Make a communications plan. Know where to meet and how to communicate with family and friends. ...
  2. Prepare to evacuate your home. Review and practice escape routes. ...
  3. Get your vehicle ready. ...
  4. Create an emergency supply kit. ...
  5. Consider special needs.
Sep 5, 2017

What is the 3 step model for emergency preparedness? ›

Take these three simple steps to prepare for a range of emergencies: Know the risks. Make a plan. Get an emergency kit.

What are three things that must be in an emergency preparedness plan? ›

Developing an Emergency Preparedness Plan is crucial, and here are six elements you should include in it.
  • 1) Risk assessment. ...
  • 2) Protective actions for life safety. ...
  • 3) Incident stabilization. ...
  • 4) Predicted weather emergencies. ...
  • 5) Review your insurance and contracts. ...
  • 6) Financial considerations.

What are the 6 basic actions to take in any emergency? ›

What are the Six Priorities in an Emergency Situation?
  • Stop to assess the situation – watch out for danger. ...
  • Make sure it is safe to approach the scene. ...
  • Make the area safe. ...
  • Assess the victim. ...
  • Call for help.
  • Resuscitate and treat injuries as necessary.
Apr 21, 2019

What are the key elements of emergency preparedness? ›

Four Core Elements of Emergency Preparedness
  • Risk Assessment and Emergency Planning (Include but not limited to): Hazards likely in geographic area. Care-related emergencies. ...
  • Communication Plan. Complies with Federal and State laws. ...
  • Policies and Procedures. Complies with Federal and State laws.
  • Training and Testing.
Dec 1, 2021

What is most important when preparing for emergencies? ›

Having sufficient supplies such as food, water, medicine and emergency essentials is important. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.

What are 4 types of emergencies? ›

Types of Emergencies
  • Severe Weather (Tornadoes, Thunderstorms, Hail) ...
  • Fire. ...
  • Hazardous Materials Accidents. ...
  • Chemical/Biological/Radiological (CBR) Emergencies. ...
  • Aircraft Crashes. ...
  • National Emergency (War, Terrorism) ...
  • Civil Disorder. ...
  • Active Shooter.

What are the steps for preparedness? ›

5 Steps To Emergency Preparedness For Any Disaster
  • Know your risks. ...
  • Build a team. ...
  • Make critical information quickly accessible. ...
  • Update your alert and response procedures. ...
  • Test the plan.
Dec 12, 2022

What are the 3 emergency situations? ›

You can do so by identifying the warning signs of such situations and responding appropriately.
  • Heart attack. When the heart does not get the blood it needs, the cells get damaged and the heart muscles die due to an oxygen deficit. ...
  • Traumatic head injury. ...
  • Burns. ...
  • Stroke. ...
  • Convulsions.
Dec 24, 2019

What are the three 3 Golden Rules in emergency situation? ›

Identify and avoid risks to yourself, the person affected and third parties. Request support early (first aiders, AED, emergency number 144). Be “suspicious” and primarily assume it is something serious. Deal quickly with any chaos and cope with the situation.

What are the ABC's of triage? ›

The mnemonic “ABCDE” stands for Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability, and Exposure. First, life-threatening airway problems are assessed and treated; second, life-threatening breathing problems are assessed and treated; and so on.

What is the first thing you should do in an emergency situation? ›

First Things to Do in Any Emergency

Decide whether it is safer to evacuate or shelter-in-place. Once safely evacuated or sheltered-in-place, call for help using 911 and clearly explain what you know about the situation. Provide first aid for any injured people. Move any people who are injured away from further danger.

What are the 1st 3 things you do in an emergency? ›

There are three basic C's to remember—check, call, and care. When it comes to first aid, there are three P's to remember— protect/preserve life, prevent deterioration, and promote recovery.

What are the five things to avoid during emergency? ›

Here are five of them.
  • 1) Panic. When things go wrong, you need to stay calm. ...
  • 2) Rush. You probably feel like you don't have much time to react, and you may not. ...
  • 3) Stop doing checklists. Checklists are there for a reason. ...
  • 4) Stop communicating. ...
  • 5) Stop flying the plane.
Feb 25, 2020

What do the 3 C's stand for in an emergency situation? ›

Training your brain before you find yourself in a high-pressure situation may help you save a life or potentially help someone in pain. There are three basic C's to remember—check, call, and care. When it comes to first aid, there are three P's to remember—preserve life, prevent deterioration, and promote recovery.

What should be in a go bag? ›

Include the following items in each Go Bag:

Food – 3-day supply. Warmth/Shelter – Emergency blanket, 3 12-hour body warmers, poncho. Medical Supplies – First Aid/medical kit, pain reliever, 3 pairs of medical gloves, and a 3-7 day supply of any required life-saving medications as well as copies of prescriptions.

What is the first priority in an emergency? ›

Emergency advice

Check for Danger. Check for a Response. Open Airway. Check Breathing.

What is the first point in an emergency to remember? ›

Important Points to be remembered by First-Aiders

First-Aiders must always remain calm and assess the situation first before rushing to help the victim. 2. First Aiders must ensure to remove any dangers from the casualty, or remove the casualty from dangers, and prevent the crowding of casualties by bystanders. 3.

What are the five 5 usual or common emergencies? ›

Knowing how to act in a medical emergency can save a life. Chest pain, choking, bleeding, fainting, seizures.

What are the 7 emergency services? ›

The Emergency Services

What are the 2 main types of emergencies? ›

Types of Emergencies
  • Armed Conflict.
  • Natural Disasters.
  • Technological or Man-Made Hazards.

What are the 5 P's of disaster management? ›

We need five “Ps” to cope up with recurring disasters — prominence, as in the role of governments; a pool of funds; planning, especially long-term, of rehabilitation and development; policy qua institutional support; and preparedness qua countermeasures.

What are the 4 elements of emergency preparedness required by the CMS Final Rule? ›

Four Core Elements of Emergency Preparedness
  • Risk Assessment and Emergency Planning (Include but not limited to): Hazards likely in geographic area. Care-related emergencies. ...
  • Communication Plan. Complies with Federal and State laws. ...
  • Policies and Procedures. Complies with Federal and State laws.
  • Training and Testing.
Dec 1, 2021

What are the 10 steps to disaster preparedness? ›

10 Steps to Disaster Preparedness
  1. Assess your risk – both internally and externally.
  2. Assess your critical business functions.
  3. Prepare your supply chain.
  4. Back-up your data.
  5. Create an emergency management plan.
  6. Create a crisis communications plan.
  7. Assemble emergency supplies.
  8. Plan for an alternate location.

What are the 3 key elements of disaster? ›

In disasters, there are three broad areas of risk to health: the hazard that can cause damage, exposure to the hazard and the vulnerability of the exposed population (see also Chapters 1.3 and 2.5) (1).

What are the 3 types of disasters? ›

Disasters are classified into natural disasters, man-made disasters, and hybrid disasters.

What are 3 actions you should take to prepare for an emergency? ›

3 Ways to Be Prepared for an Emergency
  • Make a communications plan. Know where to meet and how to communicate with family and friends. ...
  • Prepare to evacuate your home. Review and practice escape routes. ...
  • Get your vehicle ready. ...
  • Create an emergency supply kit. ...
  • Consider special needs.
Sep 5, 2017

How do I start preparing for an emergency? ›

Emergency Preparedness:
  1. Designate a family gathering place or shelter in case of specific disasters or separation.
  2. Prepare a portable emergency supply kit to include a change of clothes, food and water supplies, medications, comfort items (like books or toys for children), a light source, and a phone charger.
Oct 23, 2020

What is the first step in emergency preparedness? ›

The first step when developing an emergency response plan is to conduct a risk assessment to identify potential emergency scenarios.


1. IT’S STARTING | shtf 2023
(Riverside Homestead Life)
(Hen Hutalle)
3. An Introduction to Emergency Preparedness
(Healthier Workforce Center)
4. Building a 72h Emergency Preparedness Kit - More Than Just a Bug Out Bag!
(Survival Dispatch)
5. Emergency preparedness + Food storage! | What you need, how to afford it | Q&A Tuesday
(Jordan Page, FunCheapOrFree)
6. 10 Supplies You Need for Emergency Preparedness
(RoseRed Homestead -- That "Woman with a Gadget")
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Stevie Stamm

Last Updated: 03/13/2023

Views: 6299

Rating: 5 / 5 (80 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Stevie Stamm

Birthday: 1996-06-22

Address: Apt. 419 4200 Sipes Estate, East Delmerview, WY 05617

Phone: +342332224300

Job: Future Advertising Analyst

Hobby: Leather crafting, Puzzles, Leather crafting, scrapbook, Urban exploration, Cabaret, Skateboarding

Introduction: My name is Stevie Stamm, I am a colorful, sparkling, splendid, vast, open, hilarious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.