A recent emergency preparedness exercise examined ways that hospitals can work together during a disaster to share clinical expertise and resources to provide the best care for patients.
In recognition of September as National Preparedness Month, Paul Biddinger, MD, director of the Center for Disaster Medicine, shares helpful tips on how to be prepared for any emergency at both work and home.
How can I prepare at home for emergencies?
Building a plan is a great first step. Make sure you and your family discuss shelter plans, evacuation routes, and create a household communication plan. Also, have an emergency supply kit ready. Make sure you have enough water, food, and medications for yourself, family members, and pets for at least three days. Consider other items you may need to keep in your kit like flashlights and battery-powered radios. Be sure to update the kit – and review your emergency plan – on a regular basis.
How can I stay informed in the event of an emergency that is impacting MGH?
Make sure you are signed up to receive notifications from the Employee Alert System (EAS). Keep your information up-to-date in PeopleSoft and make sure your cell phone number is listed in the Partners Phone Directory. You may choose to make your cell phone number confidential, so it does not show in the directory.
What is my role during an emergency at MGH?
Every department has an individual emergency plan. Talk with your supervisor about your specific plan before an event happens. During an emergency, report to your supervisor for instructions and stay on-site until you are directed to leave. If you are off-site, wait for instructions. If you are asked to come in to the hospital, remember that your MGH ID badge serves as a disaster pass and may be needed to enter the hospital.
Where can I find more information?
- Aug | 23 | 2019
The MGH has activated its Hospital Incident Command System to respond to an impending heparin shortage expected to impact hospitals – including the MGH – across the globe.
- Sep | 7 | 2018
The MGH will soon roll out its newly developed Tornado Protocol. Developed by the Center for Disaster Medicine, which oversees all preparedness and emergency management efforts at the MGH, the protocol outlines hospital plans and procedures in the event of the unexpected weather emergency.
- Jun | 15 | 2018
Clear, concise and consistent communication is key during any emergency. As part of the MGH's ongoing efforts to improve and strengthen its emergency program, a new set of plain language codes has been implemented.
- Jul | 21 | 2017
"Every second counts." David R. King, MD, trauma and acute care surgeon, knows this saying well. As a U.S. Army combat veteran, and as a member of the MGH Center for Disaster Medicine, King has seen firsthand the difference critical care can make in the moments following an emergency.