Skip to main content

Military Health System

How Military Hospitals and Clinics Prepare for Disasters

Image of  When disaster strikes – like massive wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes or floods – Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs) need to be prepared. . An Airman stacks sand bags in preparation for the 2022 hurricane season at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 27, 2022. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Emergency Preparedness and Response | Disaster Prep Toolkit

When disaster strikes – like massive wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes or floods – military hospitals and clinics need to be prepared.

These major facilities across the Military Health System have to continue existing operations, and at the same time they also need to be prepared to treat injuries or illnesses that might result from the disaster itself.

That’s why it’s essential that military hospitals and clinics be prepared in the event of an evacuation.

“We look at our plans, our hazards vulnerability assessment for the area, and we sit down with all of the nurses, different department heads, and we get a list of medical items that they might need for each event,” said Christopher Springer, head of the Emergency Management/MEM, Naval Medical Center San Diego.

Each military hospital and clinic has multiple mobile medical kits at the ready for different disaster situations as part of their continuity of operations plans when Disaster Medical Assistance Teams are called upon.

“They contain everything from syringes to IV bags, catheters to sodium chloride,” Springer said. The list is of medical materiel is so large because military hospitals and clinics provide a higher level of care.

“We have one mobile kit for evacuation. We have one for sheltering in place, we have one for a possible active shooter. That way, we have something to quickly reference to see whether we have all those items,” which are stored throughout each facility, according to Springer.

Military hospitals and clinics have generators, back-up generators, and external generators, as well as multiple back-ups for refrigerators for medications. “If all other redundancies fail, our facilities department is prepared to reach out to pre-identified contractors and vendors who can provide necessary resources,” he said.

Evacuating a Military Hospital or Clinic

To evacuate an entire facility when the worst-case scenario happens and there is no power at all, medical staff would escort ambulatory patients down stairwells or use medical evacuation sleds for bed-ridden patients.

“In the worst-case scenario, we may have to hold some patients on station at our pre-evacuation locations until we get EMS vehicles to arrive to transport patients to another location,” Springer said.

Military medical personnel will continue to support wounded warfighters and beneficiaries no matter what disaster occurs.

“If they're not prepared mentally, and if their family is not prepared, if they're worried about their family, their minds might tend to go somewhere else instead of focusing on the patient care mission,” Springer suggested.

To counter this, “the biggest thing I instruct the staff to do is to make sure you know your surroundings, make sure you have the ability to communicate, and make sure you have a plan to let your family know that if a disaster happens, you both know where to go and who to contact,” Springer said.

You also may be interested in...

Medical Airmen Crew Ambulance, Keep Mission Ready

Article Around MHS
7/18/2022
Military personnel inspect an ambulance

Airmen with the 75th Medical Group here are staying mission ready by crewing Hill AFB’s ambulance service alongside firefighters from the 775th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Fire and Emergency Services Flight.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Emergency Preparedness and Response

Are You Prepared for a Disaster?

Article
7/7/2022
Start by creating a basic disaster emergency kit and create a plan to get back together as a family in the event of a disaster.

How to prepare for an evacuation affecting your family? Or even losing your home? Start by creating a basic disaster emergency kit and create a plan to get back together as a family in the event of a disaster.

Recommended Content:

Emergency Preparedness and Response | Disaster Prep Toolkit | Environmental Fitness | Summer Safety

Learning How to 'Stop the Bleed'

Article
5/27/2022
Training students how to pack an injury

In San Antonio, there is an ongoing effort to train as many people as possible on how to control bleeding to increase the chances for victim survival.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Emergency Preparedness and Response | Civil Support | Education & Training

How MHS Video Connect Improves Mission Effectiveness and Care Quality

Article
5/18/2022
Army Lt. Col (Dr.) Robert Cornfeld explains how MHS Video Connect's convenient, secure, and easy-to-use virtual video visit capability helps providers keep patients on mission and improves engagement with them, directly leading to better health outcomes.

Open to all active duty service members, retirees, and their families enrolled in a military hospital or clinic, MHS Video Connect empowers patients to meet with their military health provider virtually through live video on any internet-connected computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Health Care Technology | MHS Video Connect | Information for Providers | Military Hospitals and Clinics

MHS Video Connect Offers Convenience, Efficiencies for Providers

Article
2/16/2022
Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Ryan Brennan

MHS Video Connect provides a safe and effective platform to virtually engage with patient “face-to-face”.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Health Care Technology | MHS Video Connect | Information for Providers | Health Care Administration & Operations | Military Hospitals and Clinics

BAMC Earns Re-Verification as Level I Trauma Center

Article
1/28/2022
Trauma personnel receive an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or ECMO patient into the Emergency Department at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Jan. 24, 2022. BAMC has been re-verified as a Level I Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons for its dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients.

Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in Texas has been re-verified as a Level I Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons.

Recommended Content:

Direct Reporting Markets | Military Hospitals and Clinics | Ready Reliable Care

Contract Awarded for Largest Overseas U.S. Military Hospital

Article
1/21/2022
Rendering of the Rhine Ordnance Barracks Medical Center Replacement (ROBMCR) project.

The contract to build the largest U.S. hospital outside the United States has been signed, marking a significant step forward in progressing the Rhine Ordnance Barracks Medical Center Replacement (ROBMCR) project.

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Defense Health Agency Region Europe

New MHS Video Connect increases convenient access to care for patients

Article
11/4/2021
Air Force Lt. Col. John A. DaLomba

The MHS is rapidly expanding the number of facilities using MHS Video Connect, with all continental United States-based hospitals and clinics expected to have the capability by the end of 2021.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Health Care Administration & Operations | MHS Video Connect | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Military Health System offers help before and after natural disasters

Article
9/17/2021
Picture of a helicopter

Military Health System personnel respond to a variety of natural disasters at home and aboard.

Recommended Content:

Disaster Prep Toolkit | Emergency Preparedness and Response

Earthquake Exercise keeps the Pressure on at Naval Hospital Bremerton

Article
7/27/2021
Military personnel during an annual earthquake response exercise

Naval Hospital Bremerton participated in an Earthquake drill earlier this month.

Recommended Content:

Disaster Prep Toolkit | Earthquakes

Understanding and Coping with Natural and Human-made Disasters

Video
6/23/2021
Understanding and Coping with Natural and Human-made Disasters

Disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and peacetime terrorist attacks, can negatively impact your psychological health. Learn how to manage your stress reactions.

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Disaster Prep Toolkit | Real Warriors Campaign

After an Earthquake

Infographic
4/27/2021
After an Earthquake

After an earthquake it’s important to take extra precautions to stay safe.

Recommended Content:

Disaster Prep Toolkit | Earthquakes

Migration of MTF websites to TRICARE.mil complete

Article
2/12/2021
Three military personnel, wearing masks, sitting at a desk and typing on laptops

The goal is providing facility personnel and MTF recipients with a comprehensive source of information in an easily accessible, centralized location.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Department Of Defense Health Affairs Media Roundtable Announcement of NDAA 2017, Section 703(d) Report to Congress

Congressional Testimony
2/19/2020

Thomas McCaffery, Assistant Secretary Of Defense For Health Affairs; Dr. David Smith, Reform Leader For Health Care Management; and Lieutenant General Ronald Place, Director, Defense Health Agency, participated in a Health Affairs Media Roundtable following the announcement that the NDAA 2017, Section 703(d) Report was submitted to Congress.

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Military Health System Transformation

NDAA Section 703 Report to Congress

Congressional Testimony
2/18/2020

This report provides the Department's recommendations for changes in military treatment facilities to meet the criteria established in 10 U.S.C. § 1073d

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 9
Refine your search
Last Updated: July 11, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery