business of Medicine
Disaster Recovery Toolkit
Recovering from a disaster
Document damage and loss
After an emergency event that physically impacts a facility, it is essential to perform a damage assessment prior to reopening or performing any restoration to the space. Additionally, thoroughly documenting damage is critical to obtaining reimbursement from your insurance carrier.
Depending on the type of event, a facility might be eligible for public assistance through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) when a Federal Disaster Declaration is issued or through the Small Business Administration (SBA), which provides physical disaster loans.
Tips to remember:
- Perform a damage assessment prior to reopening
- Document everything that has been damaged
- Take and save photos of all damaged property
- Confer with your insurance carrier before you throw away damaged items
- Track employee work hours
The following steps should be taken in order to restore services and provide clinical care as soon as possible:
- Determine and begin making necessary repairs and/or establish an alternate care site
- Replace or repair damaged medical equipment
- Obtain professional services to inspect and renovate structural damage
- Replenish medical supplies and pharmaceuticals
- Clean and decontaminate facility and equipment
- Communicate and reschedule patient appointments
Provide employee support
Employees who experienced a traumatic event may require mental health services.Obtain community services to assist your employees with any psychological needs and continue to monitor employees and provide support as needed.
Perform after-action debriefing and report
After an emergency event, it is important to debrief with employees and other applicable business partners to discuss the event. Using a standardized after-action report will help facilities identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement.
This discussion should be scheduled at a convenient time, shortly after restoration is complete. It should be held in-person and should promote professional, open, and honest discussion.
- What did we expect to occur?
- What actually happened?
- Who was involved with what?
- What went well and why?
- What barriers were encountered?
- What can be improved and how?
At the conclusion of the debriefing, the facilitator should end on a positive note, highlighting how the discussion and recommendations will lead to improvements. A report that outlines the discussions and action items should be prepared. This report can be shared with employees and used to track progress on action items.
The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) has developed a standard format for an after-action report that can be found online. This format is used by government agencies and large healthcare organizations. Smaller facilities can develop their own after-action report that works best for their employees and situation.
List of potential emergency events (not all inclusive)
Active shooter, bomb threats, building move, chemical exposure, civil unrest, communication/telephone failure, dam failure, drought, earthquake, epidemic, evacuation, explosion, fire (internal, external), flood (internal, external), gas leak, HAZMAT incident, hostage situation, hurricane, HVAC failure, inclement weather, infectious disease outbreak, IT system outage, landslide, mass casualty incident, natural gas disruption, other utility failure, patient surge, picketing, power outage, radiation exposure, seasonal influenza, sewer failure, supply chain shortage, tornado, tsunami, VIP situation, water contamination/ disruption, workplace violence.
The information provided in this resource does not constitute legal, medical or any other professional advice, nor does it establish a standard of care. This resource has been created as an aid to you in your practice. The ultimate decision on how to use the information provided rests solely with you, the PolicyOwner.