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New Orleans: Welcoming Disaster Essay

2389 words - 10 pages

The mandatory evacuation of New Orleans, by Mayor C. Ray Nagin during Hurricane Katrina prompted many residents to leave. While for others, they found that leaving would be nearly impossible, if not completely out of the question due to the lack of transportation, money, or resources. In the aftermath of the destruction, individual citizens and families were stranded in the Convention Center, the Superdome, and scattered around the Gulf Coast area. Even hospitals became prisons to patients and staff in the disaster zone of New Orleans. Flood waters rose and communication within and without the hospitals were severed, evacuations failed and, in some cases, emergency protocol became circumstantial and irrelevant. Two hospitals that were an example of such were Tulane and Memorial ( now Ochsner Baptist Medical Center), both located in New Orleans and both ravaged by the hurricane. Though, the two have Katrina in common, they could not be more different in their preparedness leading up to the storm and their plans for the aftermath. Tulane escaped the storm with an effective emergency plan that utilized important resources while Memorial fell victim to botched attempts at evacuations and the deaths of many patients.The failed evacuations in New Orleans’s Memorial Hospital were the result of a lack of effective emergency planning.
Hospital emergency procedures as an overview are extremely relevant in any situation; even the most basic procedures can save lives. In order for these procedures to be effective, there must be adequate planning, communication, and operational applications of procedure. An emergency and disaster plan should be relevant in most situations and have multiple backup plans in case of failures. DQE claims that “Hospital Evacuation is a multi-faceted process that involves more than simply moving patients from Point A to Point B”(Hospital Evacuation, DQE). In the event of an emergency, health care providers must be ready to face challenges in the evacuation process and be prepared with backup plans.
Planning for emergencies is the first step to preparedness. DQE states that “ With proper evacuation program development and implementation, chaos is minimized, normal operations resume sooner, the cost of the event is monitored, safety is maximized, and there is more efficient use of personnel” (Hospital Evacuation, dqeready.com) . Hospital and healthcare administrations must create a complete plan that encompasses most circumstances. There are platforms and programs offered through websites and companies that specifically aid hospitals in the planning and training process. Some companies and websites that provide these services are, Emergencyplan.com, Safety Max, and DQEready.com. DQE offers navigation through multiple levels of planning and preparedness for various forms of emergencies and disasters within their website (dqeready.com) . If a hospital were to be a client of DQE, they would expect aid...

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