South Carolina's hospitals care for people under the most disastrous conditions. For instance, located on the coast, our state and its people face the real threat of hurricanes each year. The devastation of Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and hospitals' role in their communities before, during and after the storm are still etched clearly in our memories. Since September 11, 2001, a new type of disaster has captured the nation's attention. SCHA and its member hospitals are working with federal, state and local emergency preparedness agencies to develop the infrastructure needed to respond in the event of war or a terrorist attack.
SCHA continues to make sure that hospitals have the information and support they need to prepare and weather these natural disasters. One SCHA service is a 24-hour operation center during times of emergency. Hospital Emergency Managers are responsible for providing for the safety of patients, staff and visitors during emergency incidents. This is done by looking at potential hazards of which the organizations may be vulnerable. They work with staff to plan for prevention, response and recovery from these hazards.
The South Carolina Society for Healthcare Emergency Managers is a personal membership group organized under the umbrella of the South Carolina Hospital Association. It provides networking, training, education and state-wide planning so hospitals will be prepared to address emergencies.