Health Care Workers Need to be Ready for Disaster

Toby Clairmont
Toby Clairmont
Trish Rodriguez
Trish Rodriguez

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Hospitals and healthcare facilities are key components in times of a disaster. So it's especially important for those who work there to be ready.

They do that by training, drills, and more training. But some say most facilities aren't as ready as they think.

"You realize you have an emergency responsibility like being at your hospital or clinic during a disaster, you'll only be able to do that comfortably if your family is safely at home on in a shelter," said Toby Clairmont, of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii.

That's why the group put together a training video showing what it would be like if a category-five hurricane struck.

Clairmont says studies show only seven percent of the 40,000 healthcare workers in the state have their own families ready.

"That's a difficult mission -- expecting people to leave their homes and families, to do their job, do the right thing," said Clairmont.

Officials at Kaiser Permanente say most of their workers have their families ready.

"Not only do we train our staff in their role in a disaster, but to also have a family preparedness plan so they're able to come into work if we need them in the event of a disaster," said Trish Rodriguez, COO of Kaiser.

And that's a good thing, because if something happens, we're counting on them.

"We're ready because the resources, the joint coordination with the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, and the focus on the staff training we've done," said Rodriguez.

The Healthcare Association of Hawaii is distributing their video to every medical facility in the state. The hope is to get employee readiness part of everyone's training program within a year.