Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Evaluating Disaster Damages and Operational Status of Health-Care Facilities During the Emergency Response Phase of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

  • E.A. Irvin-Barnwell (a1), M. Cruz (a1), C. Maniglier-Poulet (a1), J. Cabrera (a2), J. Rivera Diaz (a2), R. De La Cruz Perez (a3), C. Forrester (a4), A. Shumate (a4), J. Mutter (a1), L. Graziano (a1), L. Rivera Gonzalez (a1), J. Malilay (a1) and M. Raheem (a5)...

Abstract

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico as a category 4 storm, resulting in serious widespread impact across the island, including communication and power outages, water systems impairment, and damage to life-saving infrastructure. In collaboration with the Puerto Rico Department of Health, the Public Health Branch (PHB), operating under the Department of Health and Human Services Incident Response Coordination Team, was tasked with completing assessments of health-care facilities in Puerto Rico to determine infrastructure capabilities and post-hurricane capacity. Additionally, in response to significant data entry and presentation needs, the PHB leadership worked with the Puerto Rico Planning Board to develop and test a new app-based infrastructure capacity assessment tool. Assessments of hospitals were initiated September 28, 2017, and completed November 10, 2017 (n = 64 hospitals, 97%). Assessments of health-care centers were initiated on October 7, 2017, with 186 health-care centers (87%) assessed through November 18, 2017. All hospitals had working communications; however, 9% (n = 17) of health-care centers reported no communication capabilities. For the health-care centers, 114 (61%) reported they were operational but had sustainment needs. In conclusion, health-care facility assessments indicated structural damage issues and operational capacity decreases, while health-care centers reported loss of communication capabilities post-Hurricane Maria.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Elizabeth Irvin-Barnwell, 4770 Buford Highway, NE; MS S-102; Atlanta, GA, 30341 (e-mail: jcx0@cdc.gov).

References

Hide All
1. Noji, EK. The public health consequences of disasters. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2000;15:147-157.
2. Ochi, S, Kato, S, Kobayashi, KI, et al. The great East Japan Earthquake: analyses of disaster impacts on health care clinics. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2018;12:291-295.
3. Matsumura, T, Osaki, S, Kudo, D, et al. Water supply facility damage and water resource operation at disaster base hospitals in Miyagi Prefecture in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30:193-198.
4. Kirsch, TD, Mitrani-Reiser, J, Bisseli, R, et al. Impact on hospital functions following the 2010 Chilean earthquake. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2010:4;122-128.
5. The Joint Commission. Emergency Management in Health Care: An All-Hazards Approach. 2nd ed. Oakbrook Terrace, IL: The Joint Commission Resources; 2012.
6. Nates, JL. Combined external and internal hospital disaster: impact and response in a Houston trauma center intensive care unit. Crit Care Med. 2004;32:686-690.
7. Norcross, ED, Elliott, BM, Adams, DB, et al. Impact of a major hurricane on surgical services in a university Hospital. Am Surg. 1993;59:28-33.
8. Tran, P, Weireter, L, Sokolowski, W, et al. HAZUS modeling for hurricane effect on a health care campus: implications for health care planning. Am Surg. 2009;75:1059-1064.
9. Downey, EL, Andress, K, Schultz, CH. Initial management of hospital evacuations caused by Hurricane Rita: a systematic investigation. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28:257-263.
10. WHO. Safe hospitals in emergencies and disasters. http://www.wpro.who.int/emergencies_disasters/documents/SafeHospitalsinEmergenciesandDisastersweboptimized.pdf. Accessed November 2017.
11. NOAA. National Hurricane Center. Hurricane Maria. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2017/al15/al152017.update.09201034.shtml. Accessed November 2017.
12. FEMA. Hurricane Maria. Statistics Progress in Puerto Rico. https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-maria. Accessed November 2017.
14. Malilay, J. Public health assessments in disaster settings: recommendations for a multidisciplinary approach. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2000;15:167-172.
15. Malilay, J, Heumann, M, Perrotta, D, et al. The role of applied epidemiology methods in the disaster management cycle. Am J Public Health. 2014;104:2092-2102.
16. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hurricane Ike rapid needs assessment - Houston, Texas, September 2008. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009;58:1066-1071.
17. Cruz, MA, Garcia, S, Chowdhury, MA, et al. Assessing the congregate disaster shelter: using shelter facility assessment data for evaluating potential hazards to occupants during disasters. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2017;23:54-58.
18. Ardalan, A, Kandi Keleh, M, Saberinia, A, et al. 2015 estimation of hospitals safety from disasters in I.R.Iran: the results from the assessment of 421 hospitals. PLoS One. 2016;11:e0161542.
19. Djalali, A, Ardalan, A, Ohlen, G, et al. Nonstructural safety of hospitals for disasters: a comparison between two capital cities. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2014;8:179-184.
20. Bulson, J, Bulson, T. How can hospitals be better prepared? A case study of an exercise design program and its effect on a real-life event. J Healthc Prot Manage 2010;26:89-94.
22. HHS. Public health emergency. HHS Concept of operations for ESF-8. https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/mscc/handbook/chapter7/Pages/hhsconcept.aspx. Accessed January 2018.
23. Deitchman, S. What have we learned? Needs assessment. Prehosp Disast Med. 2005;20:468-470.

Keywords

Evaluating Disaster Damages and Operational Status of Health-Care Facilities During the Emergency Response Phase of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

  • E.A. Irvin-Barnwell (a1), M. Cruz (a1), C. Maniglier-Poulet (a1), J. Cabrera (a2), J. Rivera Diaz (a2), R. De La Cruz Perez (a3), C. Forrester (a4), A. Shumate (a4), J. Mutter (a1), L. Graziano (a1), L. Rivera Gonzalez (a1), J. Malilay (a1) and M. Raheem (a5)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed