2011 Japan Earthquake – Message from CHA

The CHA Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) encourages hospitals to update or begin contingency planning considering the recent earthquake, tsunami, and radiation event in Japan and with travelers arriving in the country from this area.

Hospitals should be prepared to (1) manage the worried well, and (2) handle any traveler that may need to be triaged and/or treated. Although state and federal officials confirm that there is no existing impact to our country due to the radiation release from the damaged nuclear power plants in Japan, individuals that may have been exposed could present to your facility. In addition, the events in Japan are adding new light to the hazards we must plan for in California.

This is an opportunity to review and update any existing radiological emergency plans. We recommend using the CDC resources provided in this section.

The State of California provided information such as “FAQs about Radiation” through the California Health Alert Network (CAHAN) and they continually update their website ( as new information becomes available. Hospitals should maintain communication with their local health departments and/or local emergency medical services for additional updates.

State or local officials may provide future direction and guidance to hospitals and other health care providers if the situation changes. In that circumstance, healthcare facilities should first adhere to any local public health guidance. In absence of local guidance, there should be adherence to any state guidance. To date, CHA is not aware of any state guidance being issued. We will inform you if such guidance becomes available.