Community health centers can play a vital role during emergencies, not as a first responder but as the front line source of care. Community health centers have the ability to serve patients during an emergency. It alleviates the strain on the hospital, allowing emergency rooms to focus on true crises. IPHCA provides resources and technical assistance to community health centers that aligns with the expectations stated in section A of HRSA PIN 2007-15, “4 Phases of Emergency Management”.
- Mitigation activities lessen the severity and impact a potential disaster or emergency might have on a health center’s operation;
- Preparedness activities build capacity and identify resources that may be used should a disaster or emergency occur;
- Response refers to the actual emergency and controls the negative effects of emergency situations; and
- Recovery actions begin almost concurrently with response activities and are directed at restoring essential services and resuming normal operations. Recovery planning is a critical aspect to sustaining the long-term viability of the health center.