We All Talk About It But are You Really Prepared for a Major Disaster
The California State-wide disaster drill was held last week and Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center participated in a big way! We activated the Hospital Incident Command (HIC) and implement a response for a major earthquake on the nearby San Andreas Fault.
I’ve participated in many HICs drills but something about this drill really hit home with me. Maybe it was a new layout in our Command Center whereby different sections had their own table. There was one for Planning, another for Operations, one for Finance, etc. It seemed to make it easier to get to the people you needed to work with the most. But, maybe the one thing that really struck me as different was going over to the entrance to the Emergency Department and seeing volunteer “patients” being triaged and “treated.” Some “patients” were really made-up for their roles as injured people seeking care at PVHMC’s Emergency Department. I saw several of these “patients” but the one that was the most realistic was the woman lying on a gurney with a huge, gaping wound (though totally a fake wound) on her right leg. The wound looked so real! Doing make-up for something like this is called “moulage” – the art of applying mock injuries for training Emergency Response Teams or other medical or military personnel -- and it was very realistic.
But all of this made me think. My family and I never finished replacing expired foods in our earthquake/disaster kit. We never put in additional clothing for inclement or cold weather. We did buy several flats of bottled water but I don’t think we ever replaced the expired Tylenol or other medicines. Worse yet is that I work in a hospital and I don’t have any disaster supplies in my office. At one time I had a change of clothes in the office in case I had to spend a night her. But, I took it home to launder it and, well, it never made it back to the office.
Reading this blog made me think. We moved from Southern California in 1999 - we were prepared for an "Earthquake", but never considered being prepared for a Northeastern, an East Coast Hurricane or a nasty super storm like Hurricane Sandy. California''s message on preparedness should transfer to a national message. I know that my family will be prepared!
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