Hospitals, Hurricanes and the Need for Resilience

By Dan Hounsell
May 18, 2021

The number of healthcare facilities operating within range of a potential hurricane is overwhelming, which is no doubt why the National Resources Defense Council spotlighted the need for preparedness, safety and resilience among these facilities in its recent coverage of National Hurricane Preparedness Week, which was May 9-15.

Among the changes the group prioritized for hurricane preparedness is improving climate adaptation planning and implementation in hospitals and other critical healthcare facilities.

Hurricane readiness is no easy task for healthcare facilities, in part because they depend heavily on other critical infrastructure. Even when a hospital successfully minimizes flood damage and power disruptions within its walls, infrastructure damage outside its walls can shut down operations.

Healthcare facilities can assess their vulnerability to hurricanes and other climate-related hazards with resources such as the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit or checklists from the World Health Organization.

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Topic Area: Safety

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