The attached Guidelines for Developing Best Practices to Assist California Hospitals in Preparing for and Responding to a Water Disruption may be used for any 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.