In the past 2 decades, citizens of the United States have become acutely aware of catastrophic disasters, both natural (highlighted, for example, by Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, and Rita) and those resulting from acts of terrorism (for example, the Oklahoma City bombing, the first World Trade Center attack, and of course, the attacks of September 11, 2001). Internationally, the sarin nerve gas attacks in Tokyo, the Madrid train bombings, the Indonesian Tsunami, and the earthquakes in Haiti and China further illustrated the devastating consequences of overwhelming forces in the face of limited resources and vulnerable infrastructure. In 2009, and in an age when acts of terrorism, biological attacks, cyberattacks, and nuclear accidents are at the forefront of the news, the national accreditation body for hospitals, The Joint Commission, placed importance on hospital disaster preparedness and emergency management plans. In fact, to be accredited, hospitals must demonstrate that they routinely and competently determine and test their readiness.
Berge LR. Health Care Emergency Management: Principles and Practice. JAMA. 2011;305(2):203-204. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1982