photo of ambulances outside emergency room

Hospital Evacuation Planning: Preparing Hospitals for Disasters

As we saw during the devastating events of Hurricane Sandy, the need to evacuate a hospital can come without warning, and patients’ safety and well-being depend on a hospital and its staff being able to successfully execute an evacuation during the most trying of times. The Harvard School of Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Exercise Program (HSPH-EPREP), in collaboration with the Emergency Preparedness Bureau at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, recently developed the MDPH Hospital Evacuation Toolkit which is meant to serve as a resource for hospitals to prepare their own comprehensive evacuation plans. The toolkit is designed to assist hospitals as they review and update their plans annually for partial or full evacuation, and it contains a main evacuation guide which describes planning for the evacuation from start to finish as well as a number of tools like job action sheets and spreadsheets that can be adapted and easily incorporated into any hospital evacuation plan.