Track 4: Enhancing Public Health, Healthcare, and Emergency Management Systems
The ability to survive following a major disaster is completely dependent on how well an individual or organization is prepared for and can quickly adapt to the new environment. Communication becomes the vital lifeline to send and receive information, but also offers a reassurance that others are reachable and are aware of individual and community needs. The ability of healthcare facilities to communicate status and needs is paramount following a disaster, in order for state and federal partners to determine a priority order of response and restoration. As part of a FEMA exercise, the Tennessee Department of Health conducted a state-wide communications exercise asking Regional Health Operations Centers to communicate healthcare employee and facility status using only non-land based communications. This session highlights communication gaps and proposes user-friendly options to overcome them.