Using the State Health Preparedness Infrastructure for Internal Disasters Lou Saadi, Ph.D. Kansas Innovations NAPHSIS Annual Meeting, 2011 New Orleans, Louisiana
It all started when KDHE experienced a computer meltdown • August 5, 2010, none of our computers communicated with the outside world • A disaster was declared for vital records when it was determined the public could not be served---at all • KDHE/VS established an incident command structure. The health preparedness program assisted us during the crisis.
Kansas’ Center for Health Preparedness provided assistance • Logistics personnel were assigned to help locate and secure any and all equipment, transportation and other needs for the crisis • Operations manager acquired secure transport of all original records needed • Volunteers were mobilized to staff a phone bank to answer and triage irate phone callers—this helped OVS staff reserve emotions and stress of the disaster
Kansas’ Center for Health Preparedness provided assistance • Communications expertise to create messaging for the public • Planning staff captured summary information and crafted all after action reports and improvement plan documents • Phone bank development
Reporting capacity • Situation reports, help with external communications, after-action reports and statistics of process and outcome measures • COOP planning • Logistical planning for COOP needs—go Kits, special equipment, documentation of needs.
Phone bank process • Phone stations established in the Disaster Operations Center (Mini command center) • Volunteers were acquired from agency—Just in time training for standard messaging and crisis calls—52 volunteers for 11 days with 250 person hours—146 calls taken and managed • Possible expedited handling for high profile/high priority needs. These requests were sent to OVS. • Uncontrollable customers handed off to a supervisor who may have handed the person the director or deputy director of health. Even leadership participated.
Phone bank pros –not too many cons • At first, there was this belief that we could handle everything and didn’t need intrusion from “outsiders” • Sometime misinformation was given to the public but not frequently • Significantly relieved the staff from burdensome calls to focus on the work at hand
Phone bank pros –not too many cons • Core group of people now trained in the agency to help in any future events • DOH management and KDHE leadership participated—excellent teachable moment • All leadership learned how difficult jobs were in OVS—dealing with the public—this appreciation has helped us now as layoff and state employee staff reductions are being considered
Take advantage---Don’t deal with it alone • Preparedness program principles can help all of us with disaster planning and preparation—good foundation from which to turn in need • They can be a source of non-emotional, objective personnel that can help keep heads level in a crisis • Can mobilize volunteers from other parts of your agency in the event of a crisis • Has access to law enforcement and security personnel
BACK UP BACK UP BACK UP • Think hard about what you need to access your records and find them—copy these and put them in your go-Kit More to be shared at the 1:30 plenary and round table Thank You!