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Natural Disaster Rescue Teams at Public Health Facilities Across the Country Learn from Katrina Failures
Date:10/1/2007

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Those preparations must involve cooperation among hospitals, nursing homes, and all other healthcare facilities, as well as the coordination of food and water supplies and the assignment of trained volunteers. Nearly 60 percent of the state health departments surveyed said that they were now implementing regular exercises and drills that were "critical" for their first responders. Also cited often was the need for strong leadership from a supportive overall director and management team.

Mr. Craig Bandes, Chief Executive Officer of Global Secure, which commissioned the survey, noted that, "The site of a disaster is not the place for responders to be exchanging business cards. These relationships must be established and tested long before the event. Our survey indicates that progress has been made, and that pre-crisis communication and preparation at the state and local levels has improved dramatically across the country."

One of the state health department heads who responded to the survey said he was now conducting multi-agency exercises that included the rapid setting up of so-called all-purpose "medical needs facilities." Another noted that prior to these exercises, multiple agencies, acting independently, wasted valuable time and money duplicating efforts. He noted that in a number of instances, for example, various responders had all counted on the same buses for evacuations.

A third official emphasized the necessity of hospitals participating in these preparatory exercises and suggested that, in future, some non- traditional players, such as a finance team to determine funding requirements, also be included.

ABOUT GLOBAL SECURE

Global Secure Corp. provides a broad range of essential crisis preparedness and response software and services to federal, state and local public health, public safety and critical incident response agencies. The firm's proprietary Response Manager System provides an online collaboration and multi-me
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