Our publications keep professionals working across the public, private, and academic sectors informed on the most important developments and issues in health security and biosecurity.
Health Security, Vol 15, February 2017
This is a checklist of actions for healthcare, public health, nongovernmental organizations, and private entities to use to strengthen the resilience of their community's health sector to disasters. It is informed by the experience of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey and analyzed in the context of findings from other recent natural disasters in the United States. The health sector is defined very broadly, including—in addition to hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS), and public health agencies—healthcare providers, outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, home health providers, behavioral health providers, and correctional health services. It also includes community-based organizations that support these entities and represent patients. We define health sector resilience very broadly, including all factors that preserve public health and healthcare delivery under extreme stress and contribute to the rapid restoration of normal or improved health sector functioning after a disaster. We present the key findings organized into 8 themes. We then describe a conceptual map of health sector resilience that ties these themes together. Lastly, we provide a series of recommended actions for improving health sector resilience at the local level. The recommended actions emphasize those items that individuals who experienced Hurricane Sandy deemed to be most important. The recommendations are presented as a checklist that can be used by a variety of interested parties who have some role to play in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery in their own communities. Following a general checklist are supplemental checklists that apply to specific parts of the larger health sector.