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DHSS Press Release



Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@state.de.us

Date: June 5, 2013
DHSS-80-2013





DELAWARE PUBLIC HEALTH PREPARES FOR HEALTH CARE FACILITY EVACUATIONS DURING WEATHER-RELATED EMERGENCIES


Dover, Delaware - The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness section (EMSPS) will host a discussion based Hospital Evacuation Table Top Exercise (TTX) on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Federal, state, county, and regional partners will be discussing procedures necessary to assist the evacuation of health care facilities in the state.

The Division of Public Health EMSPS is charged with developing, implementing, and maintaining a comprehensive program to prepare for, respond to, and recover from public health threats and emergencies.

During this exercise, the evaluation team will be soliciting input from the federal, state, regional, and local partners on plans as it pertains to their roles and responsibilities during a weather-related emergency. In addition, the team aims to assess how health care and non-health care agencies and organizations coordinate to achieve a common goal during the emergency response.

The Hospital Evacuation TTX has been designed around a weather event that may require evacuation of one or more health care facilities in Delaware. It is exploring a scenario and challenges other health care facilities in the country have faced during recent weather-related emergency through the lens of Delaware specific plans, policies, and procedures.

For example, during Hurricane Sandy, some health care facilities in New York and New Jersey lost power and had to evacuate. Weather-related emergencies create challenges for hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities to include the preparation of clinical staff at work and home; evacuation of hospital patients, elderly, and infirm populations; preparation of hospitals to receive evacuated patients from other affected health care facilities; and the installation of emergency electricity generators and communication technology to allow health care facilities to shelter in place.

The participants will respond to the exercise scenario and issues surrounding the relocation of patients from one or more facilities. Participants will also address communications and logistics protocols involved. As this is a discussion base exercise, procedures will be addressed, scrutinized and if necessary, improved without involving actual patients or actors simulating patients.

For more information about the EMSPS multi-year exercise schedule, visit: www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/php/excalendar.html.



Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.





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