History of Emergencies

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Laboratory Emergency Preparedness. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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History of Emergencies

In the past, disaster plans were the most effective methods to prepare for and respond to emergency events. Prior emergency events frequently created mass casualty situations in which resources were challenged by the large number of casualties over a relatively short time period.
However, more recent emergency events have caused disaster plans to be less effective. Recent events have led to compromised patient care by (a) the inability of healthcare facilities to provide necessary medical services, (b) the failure of critical utility services (e.g., electricity and water), (c) the loss of computer systems (e.g., hostage, malware, fire, etc.), and (d) the inability to obtain supplies to operate (e.g., manufacturer's backorders or FDA-ordered shutdowns).
Due to these more extreme and urgent events, agencies have shifted from disaster planning to emergency management, which outlines the entire process of how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from all at-risk emergency events. The new term for emergency planning is a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP).
2. Foran, Michael. "The Twin Towers burn on the morning of September 11th, 2001, as seen from the Brooklyn Promenade." Wikimedia Commons, 11 Sept 2001, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WTC_smoking_on_9-11.jpeg.
3. McDaniel, Philip A. "A village near the coast of Sumatra lays in ruin after the Tsunami that struck South East Asia." Wikimedia Commons, 02 January 2005, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Navy_050102-N-9593M-040_A_village_near_the_coast_of_Sumatra_lays_in_ruin_after_the_Tsunami_that_struck_South_East_Asia.jpg.

The World Trade Center terrorist attacks, 11 September 2001 (2).
Tsunami in Sumatra, Indonesia, 26 December 2004 (3).