California is well known for its sunny beaches, laid back attitude, excellent fish tacos and vulnerability to earthquakes. Because California rests atop an area of the globe in which the North American plate collides with the Pacific plate, when the friction between the two structures becomes especially intense, that energy is released in the form of the many earthquakes experienced in the Golden State.
As such, it is especially important for officials in California to update their continuity of operations plans with even more regularity than other areas of the United States as the region is notably prone to emergency conditions that could put citizens' lives and property at great risk.
This axiom is especially critical for hospitals in the state. If California healthcare practitioners are not prepared with evacuation protocols and remotely-located hot sites that have the equipment necessary to continue patient care, the losses could be devastating.
Interestingly, engineers at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) are testing out a different technique to foster earthquake preparedness. According to technology-centric news source The Verge, engineers at UCSD have spent $5 million over three years in order to develop a model hospital that is immune to earthquake tremors.
"We have earthquakes on a regular basis," Anna Cabellero of the California State and Consumer Services Agency told the news source. "The one place you need to be in really good shape are the hospitals."
While the sophisticated architecture that has been developed to keep operations running smoothly even during the most intense emergency circumstances, many healthcare facilities likely do not have the kind of resources to support a project of this magnitude. A more cost-effective alternative to assist medical professionals cope with earthquakes is by deploying the services of a disaster preparedness consulting firm.
These consultants can not only help negotiate the best price on a hot site, but also help develop a tabletop exercise to ensure that the provisions of a business continuity plan are sound in practice as well as theory.