Emergency Preparedness & Health Policy


After studying Module 4: Lecture Materials & Resources, discuss the following:

  • How your work environment prepares and responds to emergency preparedness (you may choose natural or man-made emergencies)?
  • How do you see health policy impacting nursing practice in preparing for emergencies?

Submission Instructions:

  • Your initial post should be at least 500 words, formatted and cited in current APA style with support from at least 2 academic sources.

For this week, we will discuss how your workplace prepares and responds to emergencies. Please share one example. An example can be preparing and responding to a natural disaster (ex: hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, etc.), preparing and responding to a pandemic (ex: Ebola, COVID), or preparing and responding to internal threats (ex: Active shooter, bomb threat, etc.). Also, share how do you see health policy impacting how nurses prepare and respond to emergencies? Please look at the videos and scholarly peer-reviewed articles provided to support your discussions.

Read and watch the lecture resources & materials below early in the week to help you respond to the discussion questions and to complete your assignment(s).

(Note: The citations below are provided for your research convenience. You should always cross reference the current APA guide for correct styling of citations and references in your academic work.)


  • Mason, D. J., Gardner, D. B., Outlaw, F. H. & O’Grady, E. T. (2020).
    • Chapters 23, 24, 28, 30, 31, and 38

      Online Materials & Resources

  • Visit the CINAHL Complete under the A-to-Z Databases on the University Library’s website, locate and read the article(s) below:
    • Blake, S. C., Hawley, J. N., Henkel, A. G., & Howard, D. H. (2018). Implementation of Florida long term care emergency preparedness portal web site, 2015–2017. American Journal of Public Health, 108, S399–S401. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2018.304557
    • Sales, C., Kim, Y., Kim, G., Lin, B., & Palaniappan, L. (2021). Precision public health matters: An international assessment of communication, preparedness, and coordination for successful COVID-19 responses. American Journal of Public Health, 111(3), 392–394. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2020.306129
    • Traynor, K. (2019). Unprecedented storm tests preparation at small Georgia hospital. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 76(2), 68–69. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajhp/zxy062

Reply 1


Normil Dilande

St. Thomas University

NUR 415: Health Care System Issues

Professor Rousseau

July 19, 2022.

Emergency Preparedness & Health Policy

How My Work Environment Prepares and Responds To Emergency Preparedness

The threat of man-made emergencies is the core focus in my work environment. In preparing for these issues, my workplace encourages a multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary approach encompassing the roles of the police, medical providers, environment and structural engineers, housing and transportation experts. They anticipate the types of disasters that are most likely to occur in the hospital environment. There is an in-house disaster preparedness framework and policy to complement the regionalized approach that has been adopted by the government. Hospitals anticipate both natural and man-made disasters and so that is still the case with my workplace. However, in this case, I will mainly focus on the man-made emergencies such as terrorist attacks, transportation incidents, data theft, and chemical and biological attacks. In the current emergency preparedness program, there is the acceptance that each of these incidents or threats poses a different challenge to the organization. In that case, there should be some level of capacity in the organization to respond to each sort of emergency.

Like any other hospital, my workplace has finite resources and so there is always the need to focus most of the resources on the most likely or the potentially serious incidences. For instance, when targeting to respond to terrorist attacks, there is the acknowledgement that bombings are the most commonly occurring forms. When bombings occur, they result in serious forms of penetrating and blunt trauma other than the physical burns and related injuries. The subway and train attacks that occurred in Madrid more than a decade ago are most notable. On the other hand, there is also the likelihood of bioterrorism or nuclear attacks. The impact of such occurrences on overall public health would definitely be catastrophic (Sheikhbardsiri et al., 2022). In essence, my workplace seeks to prioritize emergency preparedness and response based on the level of likelihood of specific attacks or emergencies occurring. In essence, emergency preparedness is not a blanketed approach but rather a carefully crafted plan that is based on real-world events and occurrences in the past.

How I See Health Policy Impacting Nursing Practice in Preparing For Emergencies

Nursing plays a major role in the context of preparing for a disaster. For instance, it helps in preparing individuals and communities so that they are better placed to counter and mitigate potential hazards whenever disasters come about. Health policies of this nature mainly target the most vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and infants in cases of unique needs that are presented in the aftermath of an emergency. Health policy impacts nursing practice in preparing for emergencies in a myriad of ways. Such policy seeks to ensure standardized training for nurses and first responders. It emphasizes the essence of inter-professional collaboration and open communication throughout the organization, and more so the impact that funding has on these kinds of incidents. Health policy also demonstrates that preparing for emergencies is not a one-man show but rather a multi-stakeholder approach involving the hospital, public health facilities, community health partners, and the government.

In essence, emergency preparedness is quite dynamic (Goniewicz et al., 2021). In that same regard, existing health policy will impact nursing differently in the coming years. That being the case, additional research is still needed in order to facilitate communication, encourage collaboration, and standardize training materials and regimes. Being effectively prepared can help to reduce anxiety, fear, and the losses that often accompany the occurrence of disasters. Nurses have to play active roles in such processes since they have been trained on the sorts of emergencies to expert and how they should respond when such incidences occur.


Goniewicz, K., Goniewicz, M., Burkle, F. M., & Khorram-Manesh, A. (2021). Cohort research analysis of disaster experience, preparedness, and competency-based training                     among nurses. PLoS One16(1), e0244488. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0244488 (Links to an external site.)

Sheikhbardsiri, H., Doustmohammadi, M. M., Mousavi, S. H., & Khankeh, H. (2022). Qualitative study of health system preparedness for successful implementation of                           disaster    exercises in the Iranian context. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness16(2), 500-509. https://doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2020.257














Reply 2

Therese Boulay

St. Thomas University

NUR-415-AP1: Healthcare Issues

Professor Rousseau

July 21, 2022

Emergency Preparedness & Health Policies

Living in Florida has taught healthcare and the community how important emergency preparedness and responding to a pandemic is very important. After experiencing several catastrophic natural disasters like hurricanes Katrina and Irma, and after the deadly pandemic of Covid 19, the country has instilled health policies and passed Acts that help prepare and protect us from the aftermath of these disasters. The paper will discuss what preparations and responses to emergency preparedness that my facility had in place during Hurricane Irma, and how health policies can impact nursing practices.

Preparedness for hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma was a catastrophic natural disaster in 2017, that affected the community, and healthcare system, especially the nursing homes. Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act (2006), reorganized Fema, which established a Disability Coordinator, and coordinated and supports evacuations, and recoveries (Mason et al., 2020). When the facility I worked at, which was a nursing rehabilitation home, became aware of the possible hit of Hurricane Irma through Florida, the facility began preparation the same day. The nursing department made sure every nurse chose if they wanted to work before, during, or after the storm. The facility prepared our units making sure we had several large containers filled with water in case the water system stopped working, the pharmacy provided extra medication for all the patients, galloons of water were in place for hydration of the patients, and medication administration records were printed out to sign in case we lost power, flashlights were administered to every unit, and one emergency cell phones were distributed to every unit. Patients’ beds were also moved away from all windows. Nurses were instructed to bring overnight bags since we were not sure what would be in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Response to emergency preparedness

The responses to the preparedness were very organized and all the different disciplinary worked together to help prepare for the hurricane. Nurses came together as a team. Although the response after the storm was not what the facility expected, it had staff in concern. We were left without power for several days, nurses were exhausted and short-staffed, the heat was felt through the units, portable fans were not immediately available for the units, there were not enough emergency phones, and many patients ended up being transferred to hospitals for heat exhaustion. We learned the devasting effect of having no power. Florida has instituted an emergency power rule to ensure that nursing homes can provide an environment where temperatures do not go above 81 degrees for at least 96 hours in the event of a power outage (Dosa et al., 2020). Since then, extra generators, and hundreds of fans are kept in storage, and new air condition units have been put in place.

Health policies and their impact on nursing practices

Health policies should involve stakeholders, organizations, and especially nurses. Nurses should be protected and kept up to date about the preparedness of disaster health policies. The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act 2013 authorizes funding for public health and medical preparedness programs (Mason et al., 2020). A study has shown that long-stay residents experienced greater morbidity and mortality because of factors like, patients being at risk for transfer trauma associated with evacuation, post-storm heat, and availability and adequacy of direct-care nurse staffing ( Dosa et al., 2020). Nurses should be made aware of policies, preparedness, and changes through in-services periodically. Nurses become overworked and stressed because we have to worry about our patients and our own families. This can interfer with our practices. One of the biggest barriers we see is that natural disasters capture our attention during the warning, impact, rescue phases, and response phase, then the media and scientists move on, which leaves everyone to fall short of answers when the next event occurs ( Shultz & Galea, 2017).


Preparedness and responding to natural disasters take a lot of planning. Planning should not only include preparation before but should also include preparation after an emergency.  Not only patients are impacted, but nurses and healthcare teams suffer the consequences when preparedness is not in place. I am glad that we came together as a team and everyone reacted quickly to make sure our patients were kept safe after hurricane Irma. Hopefully, we continue to research better preparedness before the next hurricane.


Dosa et al., (2020). Association between exposure to Hurricane Irma and mortality and hospitalization in Florida nursing home residents.             JAMA Network Open, 3(10), e2019 460. https://doi.org/101001/jamanetworkopen.2020.19460 (Links to an external site.).

Mason. D. J., Gardner, D. B., Outlaw, F.H., & O’Grady, E.T. (2020). Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care (8th ed.). _St. Louis MO:                   Elsevier. ISBN: 9780323597968

Shultz, J.M. & Galea. S. 2017 (2017). Preparing for the next Harvey, Irma, Or Maria – Addressing research gaps. The New England Journal of              Medicine, 377(19), 1804-1806. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMp1712854 (Links to an external site.)