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Emergency Preparedness
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Emergency Preparedness Programs Are Based on the Four Phases of the Emergency Management Cycle: Mitigation » Preparedness » Response » Recovery


Mitigation actions should be considered long before an event and includes actions designed to reduce the risk to people and property from hazards. Elements of mitigation are:  

  • Hazard identification and mapping
  • Design and construction applications
  • Insurance
  • Structural Controls


These are actions and preparations that will improve your chances of successfully dealing with an emergency. Elements of preparedness are: 

  • Planning
  • Training and Education 
  • Exercising 

Helpful Planning Resources: 


Immediate actions to save lives, protect property, and meet basic human needs. Elements of response include : 

  • Activation of emergency operations plan and the corresponding emergency operations center.

Helpful Response Resources:


Recovery begins as soon as disaster strikes and ends when operations return to normal. Elements of recovery include: 

  • The execution of services and site restoration plans.
  • Evaluation of the incident to identify lessons learned. 
  • Development of initiative to mitigate the effects of future incidents 

Helpful Recovery Resources:

Emergency Preparedness Standards for Health Centers 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid published a final rule on Emergency Preparedness requirements for 17 providers type including FQHCs on Sept 16, 2016.  The final rule went into effect on November 16, 2016 and compliance is required by November 16, 2017.  The complete rule is available on the website of the Office of the Federal Register and linked here

HRSA has a policy information notice titled, Health Center Emergency Management Program Expectations, that specifically addresses emergency management program expectations. It is Policy Information Notice 2007-15. The final rule from CMS largely aligns with this HRSA PIN.

Accrediting Organization such as The Join Commission (TJC) and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) both have their own requirements around emergency preparedness for health centers that have ambulatory care accreditation.  As of now meeting your accreditation requirements through either TJC or AAAHC does not insure compliance with the final rule from CMS as accrediting organizations are still undertaking the process of demonstrating to CMS that their standards meet or exceed all CMS's new emergency preparedness requirements. See CMS Survey & Certification Group FAQs Emergency  Preparedness Regulation.