2007 Statewide Medical-Health Disaster Exercise

With the new and emerging threat of outbreaks of infectious disease, such as pandemic influenza or biological, terrorism, which have the potential for causing mass casualties, healthcare providers and systems must be prepared to respond to and recover from these catastrophic events.

Over the last year, surge capacity and capability planning has been a focus for hospitals, clinics, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), local public health departments, other healthcare providers, and government officials at the local, regional, state, and federal level. The 2007 Statewide Medical and Health Disaster Exercise has been developed for hospitals, clinics, EMS and local public health departments to test and evaluate the surge plans using a scenario of biological terrorism. A release of pneumonic plague would result in the surge of large numbers of patients who would require care for extended periods. The scenario has been developed to encourage and allow hospitals and health care providers to interact with local law enforcement, local emergency management and community partners. Other features of the exercise focus on shift changes and incident action planning.

The 2007 exercise is structured for 12 hours, from 5:00 am to 5:00 pm, to facilitate the exercising of multiple shifts (nights, days, and evenings) and to include shift changes, especially in the Hospital Command Center (formerly known as the Hospital Emergency Operations Center). A 12 hour exercise may pose unique planning and logistical issues for participants. Hospitals are not required to conduct a 12 hour exercise, but should consider the exercise timeframes as “modules” which can be used to customize the exercise to the facility’s specific objectives. Therefore, if a participant plans a four-hour exercise, the content of the exercise “modules” could be timed for your exercise period.