Blog | Monday, October 3, 2011

QD: News Every Day--Disaster planning sparse in U.S. facilities

When a 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck the East Coast, with its origin in Virginia, the effect rattled the entire Eastern seaboard.

The reaction: "That couldn't have been an earthquake, could it?" It's not the East Coast mindset. Earthquakes hit California.

Hurricane Irene, which followed three days later, was more real. It killed. It damaged property. It left millions without power, some for days and a few for more than a week. Still, many people scoffed at instructions to evacuate coastal regions.

Tornados only hit Midwestern states, right?

Wrong. As reported in cover stories at ACP Internist and ACP Hospitalist, disasters do strike anywhere, any time. And only half of respondents indicated that they had any sort of disaster plan in place for their practice, their home or any other health care facility.

In response to ACP Internist's latest poll, nearly one in four people responded they had a disaster plan through their hospital or another health care facility. But less than one in five had a plan for their family and home. Few had plans to continue office operations after a natural disaster.

Aftershocks will continue for month, hurricane season extends through Nov. 30 and tornados can touch down anytime. It's time to plan for the next natural disaster.

In its next poll, ACP Internist ties into its October cover story on managing cardiovascular disease in the elderly by asking how many of five ACCF/AHA expert consensus tips do they follow for evaluating hypertension in the elderly. Click here to cast your vote.