RealNews

Communities Must Prepare Against Terror, Experts Say

U.S. hospitals were urged Wednesday to help communities develop emergency preparedness systems to deal with any potential terrorist attacks. A report by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) says that U.S. communities will likely be on their own for the first 24 to 72 hours following a terrorist attack. The group said an effective response would require the coordinated involvement of emergency medical services, hospitals, fire departments, police, public health agencies, and municipal and county officials. The report, prepared by a 28-member expert panel, also warns of a “brewing cataclysm” of insufficient funding and limited experience and preparedness of emergency response systems in communities nationwide, and calls on local, state and federal authorities to develop strategies for addressing the issue. Panel member Mark Smith of Washington Hospital Center said the idea is for communities to develop ongoing emergency preparedness programs that can be tapped if a disaster such as the September 11 attacks occurs. Full Story

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