HAP Blog

What is your “Doomsday Scenario?” Could it be a Reality?

All-hazards planning helps prepare for the worst

August 12, 2022

As emergency managers, we are the go-to resource when things go bad. Facility staff from the base level to the top leaders look to you and your team when the unthinkable happens. Could it be a serious flood or power failure that requires evacuation of the hospital? Or a major nationwide cyberattack that knocks out many of your systems and your vendors’ systems for days or even weeks? Or is it another pandemic?

Any disaster is going to have that moment of fear and anxiety in the beginning, no matter who you are or how long you have been doing this. In emergency management, it’s on us to come up with solutions that support our facilities and staff and help us get through challenging times. The key is all-hazards planning. All-hazards is a great framework you need to know. No matter the situation, you will use it, and it will work as long as it’s trained and understood.

So what are the keys to all-hazards preparedness? As outlined by CMS, this framework helps us prepare for a wide array of emergencies and disasters. We’re not focusing on stopping every disaster at once, but having the capacity to respond to the variety of situations that could come our way. When we talk about all-hazards planning, we’re preparing for the worst of the worst, including:

  • Pandemics
  • Natural disasters
  • Bioterrorism emergencies
  • Chemical emergencies
  • Radiation emergencies

No disaster or doomsday scenario should keep you up at night. Even as the world is changing and threats and severity of these events increase, your facility is only as good as its best capabilities. Continue to train, exercise, evaluate, and repeat.

Don’t be afraid to do a doomsday scenario as an exercise. Years ago, a cyberattack that disables networks and holds a system for ransom may have been labeled as unrealistic. Now it is happening nearly daily. Some also said that there is no way we could ever face another global pandemic like the 1918 Spanish flu, but we did.

All-hazards planning helps us be prepared for the unthinkable. As the saying from Maya Angelou goes, we are “hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.”

For questions about your-all hazards plan, contact me or HAP’s Emergency management team for more information.

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