CHA has launched a hospital utilities survey and encourages all hospitals to participate. Following hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, hospitals and government response agencies realized how important it is for emergency back‐up power (diesel generators), fuel and water to be readily accessible for hospitals to remain operational after a major disaster.
While the Hospital Facilities Seismic Safety Act will better prepare hospitals to remain operational, it will not be fully implemented until 2030. In the meantime, local, state and federal agencies need detailed information to allow them to respond quickly and provide support to hospitals following an earthquake, fire, flood or other incident that disrupts utility service and places hospital operations at risk. To assist with that effort, CHA strongly urges 100 percent hospital participation in its current survey.
The survey was developed by a work group of hospital subject matter experts in conjunction with state, federal and local agencies responsible for disaster response. The information collected will be shared with government agencies that have statutory authority to provide support to hospitals in a disaster, with the key goal of expediting assistance to hospitals in the event of a disaster.
CHA has distributed a copy of the survey to hospital disaster planners, and recommends each hospital’s disaster planner coordinate as needed with the chief physical plant engineer. CHA appreciates members’ assistance and support with this important effort.
The Overview of System Failures Chart is a customizable template for hospital incident command and house supervisors to use in planning for various hospital system failures. It lists what will be affected when a system goes down, who the system failure will impact, key actions that should be initiated and primary planning partners.
Below are examples of planning tools and established procedures from various hospitals that you may wish to summarize and incorporate into the Overview of System Failure chart, as appropriate for your own facility.
The attached Guidelines for Developing Best Practices to Assist California Hospitals in Preparing for and Responding to a Water Disruption are being published in draft form and are for hospital use in preparing for the November 17, 2011 California Statewide Medical and Health Training and Exercise Program. These tools may also be used for any other hospital water disruption planning activities.
These guidelines were drafted under the CHA Hospital Preparedness Program with participation from a work group which was comprised of hospital representatives and state regulatory agencies.
The guidelines address:
Overview of a hospital water disruption
The hospital water supply planning team
Conducting a water use audit
Role of California Regulatory Agencies in a water disruption
Water disruption standards and regulations
Coordinating with the community response to a water disruption
The guidelines contain links to federal and state references and include six attachments which provide additional information and check lists to assist hospitals with water disruption planning and response.
11/5/2012: The two commodities we need most in a disaster in order to continue operating is electricity and water. Water is a basic need that sustains life and in other applications cooling for computers or people. In hospitals it is a basic need to eliminate the possibility of infection and just plain old sanitation.
Sandy has pointed out how when a disaster hits an urban area what happens when the water and electricity stop flowing. Several hospitals closed. One for power and the other for a lack of water. I’m also just guessing the availability of staff was also an issue since the “normal” commute was out the window. My nephew who works in Manhattan and lives in the Brooklyn took a taxi to get to work in the morning, a journey that took three hours. To get home he waited for a bus and then ended up walking home, which took four hours…
In order to maintain daily operations and patient care services, health care facilities need to develop an Emergency Water Supply Plan (EWSP) to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a total or partial interruption of the facilities’ normal water supply. Water supply interruption can be caused by several types of events such as natural disaster, a failure of the community water system, construction damage or even an act of terrorism. Because water supplies can and do fail, it is imperative to understand and address how patient safety, quality of care, and the operations of your facility will be impacted.
A health care facility must be able to respond to and recover from a water supply interruption. A robust EWSP can provide a road map for response and recovery by providing the guidance to assess water usage, response capabilities, and water alternatives.