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PCEPN Team Attends NYC 2nd Emergency Preparedness Symposium

February 1, 2018


CHCANYS EM Team continues to engage in citywide healthcare emergency preparedness activities spearheaded by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). On January 30, 2018, our team attended The 2nd Emergency Preparedness Symposium (EPS) at CUNY School of Law.

Here are the highlights from this city-wide meeting that supports city-wide healthcare emergency preparedness integration:



The meeting opened with Darrin Pruitt and Dr. Celia Quinn (DOHMH) providing welcoming remarks and giving planning updates to the attendees. 


Coastal Storms

Dr. Quinn continued with a presentation on Coastal Storms, which focused on the summary of 2017 data and planning activities for 2018. She briefly touched upon evacuation zones and the types of healthcare facilities and their populations in each. This information was based off the 2017 data which was collected with a compliance rate of only 50%. Dr. Quinn went over the goals for 2018 which included advising and informing leadership on response objectives and ensuring alignment in planning and response goals. The Coastal Storm Operations Plan had been reviewed with the purpose to make it into a usable document that summarized citywide plans. The plan describes cyclone classifications, weather products, storm bearing and strength impacts, transportation, shelter in place, lists federal resources and more. The Health and Medical Executive Committee (HMExec) hopes to have 100% compliance concerning the data for 2018, as well as distribute user guides, coordinate training operations, technical assistance offerings, proactive outreach, and ability to track challenges. To learn more about NYC plans for Coastal Storms.


Coalition Surge Exercise

Marie Irvine (DOHMH) gave an update on the upcoming Coalition Surge Exercise. The exercise will take place in April, 2018 and be followed by a facilitated discussion in May with an After Action Review in June. This will be a low to no-notice exercise to find gaps in surge and response readiness. This is an Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) project that will be conducted on an annual basis over the next 5 budget periods. Objectives for this exercise include 1) assess ability to conduct initial patient census within 60 minutes of notification 2) Complete bed matching within 180 minutes of notification 3) Complete transportation within 180 minutes of notification.


Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Emergency Preparedness

The program continued with the presentation by Andrew McMahan (MTA). He discussed his agency’s emergency preparedness program. Andrew shared that the MTA focuses more on the challenges of weather emergencies, while the NYPD handles things regarding anti-terrorism. Andrew stressed the challenges of weather forecasts and their accuracy. The MTA has changed their mindset regarding shutdown after the 2010 snowstorms. They no longer have a “take the hill at all costs” mentality. They will preemptively shut down to avoid worse issues that may arise if they do otherwise. Read more about MTA and Storm planning,


Mental Health Planning

The final item of the day addressed the issue of disaster mental health planning and available resources. Monika Eros-Sarnyai and Betty Duggan (DOHMH) provided information about psychoeducation, crisis counseling, resource referrals, and linking to crisis services. Betty spoke about the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and all the services they are able to assist with through their volunteer staff. Learn more about NYC MRC program,



To learn more about New York City Health Care Coalition and citywide healthcare preparedness activities, contact CHCANYS EM Team / PCEPN at


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