Hurricane Harvey and a Culture of Preparedness: One Institution's History of Emergency Management
Brent Kaziny, MD; Christi Reeves, MSN, RN; James MItchell; Katherine Gautreaux, BSN, RN; Jenna Blair, RN; Aaron Freedkin
Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX
Background: Texas Children's Hospital is the world's largest children's hospital and has been subject to a number of natural disasters during its long history. Throughout the institution, a culture of preparedness is pervasive. From annual required training and auxiliary bridge events that highlight the work of Emergency Management, to drilling all hazards and executive level support of ongoing training and response, Texas Children's Hospital has educated and prepared it's faculty and staff on all levels. This degree of preparedness was never more evident than during Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017.
Methods: We will review the emergency management planning and policy that goes in to creating this "culture of preparedness" and then through a description of the events surrounding Hurricane Harvey show the importance of preparedness on all levels of institutional response.FINDINGS: While Hurricane Harvey had a major impact on the greater Houston Metropolitan area and caused widespread destruction, Texas Children's weathered the storm. This was the first disaster to affect the expanded system of Texas Children's now with three free standing children's hospitals, a vast network of pediatric practices and outpatient clinics, 8 urgent cares, and the health plan, this disaster required coordination across the entire region.
Conclusions: By supporting a system-wide culture of preparedness, Texas Children's was able to weather one of the worst natural disasters in US history and come through with minimal impact to patient services and minimal damages to facilities.
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