1. Community partners
The local public health office, emergency management and other organizations may be able to offer help. Likewise, a health system should be ready to share resources as necessary, says Scott Supernaw, director of emergency management at Cone Health in Greensboro, N.C.
One important need in the immediate aftermath of an event is security, says Dennis Manley, chief nursing officer at Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Mo. When a building and its contents are exposed, it’s essential to keep unauthorized members of the public from entering and putting themselves or others at risk.
“Hospitals can be dangerous places if people have access to things they shouldn’t have access to,” he says.
2. Attorneys and accountants
According to Ed Tucker, former CFO of Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, Miss., attorneys and accountants can help ensure a healthcare organization has its paperwork completed and ready when the time comes to file insurance claims.
It’s important to check that the emergency numbers for a hospital’s vendors are still accurate and that contracts are up to date, Supernaw says. Checking before a storm strikes can ensure a hospital’s critical needs are met during the event.
4. The bank
For health systems with a low-cash level, securing an emergency line of credit could be helpful, Tucker says.
By the time skies turn gray, staff should know and have rehearsed the disaster plan and be able to jump in as soon as necessary, according to Supernaw.