One of the keys to emergency preparedness is to ensure that losses are not catastrophic. You need to back up important documents in a safe place. Emergency preparedness is a fundamental aspect of the work of all medical professionals, especially first responders. You'll be working with people through some of the most difficult times in their lives, often after an immense tragedy or sudden disaster.
Emergency preparedness should guide your work. Effective preparedness measures taken today can make the difference between life and death tomorrow. That's why it's important to be prepared. Communities can prepare for emergencies such as natural disasters and disease outbreaks by planning and training people in emergency response.
It's also important to prepare for medical emergencies, such as cardiac arrest or serious injury. In addition to the obvious benefit of providing guidance during an emergency, the act of planning itself is a fundamental part of the program. The process can identify several deficiencies, such as lack of resources (equipment, trained personnel, supplies) or items that can be addressed proactively. In addition, an emergency plan promotes safety awareness and demonstrates the organization's commitment to worker safety.
A well-documented, comprehensive emergency preparedness plan is critical for all organizations to ensure they are prepared to address any potential incidents, from natural disasters to violent threats. Your emergency plan must protect employees, visitors, contractors, or anyone else who may be in your building. Facilities that have hazardous materials in place should contact employees to find out if they should evacuate the premises or shelter in place should an emergency arise. By having all stakeholders provide feedback and guidance, your organization will be better equipped to deal with potential emergencies.
Involve representatives from multiple sectors to begin creating a comprehensive approach to a response to dangerous emergencies. Respiratory emergencies are common during disasters, especially among people with chronic medical conditions. Preparing for emergencies can save lives, perhaps even your own, so don't neglect this important aspect of your work. However, pandemic preparedness varies dramatically from preparedness needed for other emergencies, including natural disasters.
Emergency preparedness ensures that you have the right skills and state of mind to manage a disaster. While an active pandemic situation may not be as common as other emergencies, it is likely that COVID-19 is not an isolated event. Centers should take the time to include first responders in their planning to alleviate confusion should an emergency occur. This preparedness tool provides templates that help you plan for emergencies in a fraction of the time of traditional planning.
The NHSS guides the development of the Healthy People Preparedness goals through a framework for national health security stakeholders to build community resilience, strengthen and maintain health emergency response systems, enhance capacities, and prioritize resources.