Health centers are actively involved in helping those individuals who are disproportionately affected by disasters and have carved out specific emergency management roles and responsibilities based on the needs of the community in which they operate.
To align ourselves with the need for emergency planning, NCCHCA works with many local, state, and national partners to assist community health centers in emergency preparedness planning and response. NCCHCA also provides information to partners about the role of community health centers in their community at all times, and the potential role of community health centers in the event of an emergency.
In North Carolina, the Office of Emergency Medical Services divides the state into Regional Advisory Committees for Emergency Preparedness and response. You can find the page containing maps of these RACs as well as contact information here.
Compliance and implementation were to be completed by November 15, 2017.
Check out this excellent resource from ASPR-TRACIE that describes both requirements for FQHCs/CHCs and what changed in 2019 within those requirements:
Rural Health Clinic / Federally Qualified Health Center Requirements CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule Revised March 6, 2019
Kaiser Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA)
Use this tool to create a Hazard Vulnerability Analysis for your health center.
Emergency Operations Planning Template for CHC’s (developed by the California PCA)
Regional Advisory Committees
Regional Advisory Committees (RACs) were initially established for the purpose of regional trauma planning, to include establishing and maintaining a coordinated trauma system. Following September 11, 2001, RAC responsibilities/members significantly expanded to account for increased disaster and terrorism related activities. The North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services (NCOEMS) oversees the RACs in North Carolina and works with them to coordinate their responsibilities regarding the state’s trauma/terrorism initiatives.
North Carolina Division of Emergency Management
The North Carolina Division of Emergency Management is part of the Department of Public Safety (DPS.) DPS serves as the coordinating agency for North Carolina’s homeland security preparednes, and is tasked with focusing public and legislative attention on public safety issues like preparation for natural disasters. In addition, the department is updates plans and provides training for local officials to respond to emergencies such as terrorism, communicable diseases, nuclear power plant incidents and civil unrest.
North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services
“The mission of the Office of Emergency Medical Services is to foster emergency medical systems, trauma systems and credentialed EMS personnel to improve in providing responses to emergencies and disasters which will result in higher quality emergency medical care being delivered to the residents and visitors of North Carolina.”
North Carolina Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response // CONNECTION NOT SECURE
During a local emergency like a hurricane, tropical storm, or severe winter weather, Health Center patients should follow all local instructions from emergency managers, including evacuation. Health Center patients may seek a community health center in other cities or states by using the HRSA Find a Health Center website.
The linked documents highlight some key information on Temporary sites in scope and FTCA coverage during declared emergencies. Please see the policy guidance linked here for more complete guidance. https://bphc.hrsa.gov/emergency-response/hurricane-updates.html
NASW-NC Hurricane Preparedness Resources: NASW-NC has compiled a disaster relief guide for social workers with information on both state and federal resources.
Disaster Response Network: The North Carolina Disaster Response Network (NC DRN) is a network of mental health professionals who are trained to respond in the event of a disaster.
Americares: Americares is a health-focused humanitarian relief organization based out of Stamford, CT. They work with over 1,000 health facilities throughout the US, including 45 health partners in North Carolina. During disasters, they are able to assist partners, and new partners, with shipments of medicine, including TDAP and insulin, and relief supplies, including first aid kits, in addition to many other products. They are also able to provide small grants for activities related to the hurricane. Please reach out to JP Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to receive a list of available inventory and for more information.”
The NC Disaster Information Center offers several resources in Spanish regarding natural disasters in North Carolina. Information includes preparation checklists, explanations of what to do during a storm, and information on health and safety that will help the Hispanic/Latino community before, during, and after a natural disaster.