This study assessed the direct human resource costs of a hospital's emergency preparedness planning (in 2005) by surveying participants retrospectively. Forty participants (74% of the identified population) were surveyed. Using the self-reported hourly salary of the participant, a direct salary cost was calculated for each participant. The population was 40% male and 60% female; 65% had a graduate degree or higher; 65% were administrators; 35% were clinicians; and 50% reported that their job description included a reference to emergency planning activities. All participants spent a combined total of 3,654.25 hours on emergency preparedness activities, including 20.1% on personal education/train-ing; 11.6% on educating other people; 39.3% on paperwork or equipment maintenance; 22.2% on attendance at meetings; 5.6% on drill participation; and <1% on other activities. Considering the participants' hourly salary, direct personal costs spent on emergency preparedness activities at the institution totaled US$232,417. Ten percent, all of whom were physicians, reported no compen-sation for their emergency preparedness efforts at the hospital level.
As much as these results illustrate the strong commitment of the institu-tion to its community, they represent a heavy burden in light of the oftenunfunded mandate of emergency preparedness planning that a hospital may incur. Such responsibility is carried to some extent by all hospitals.