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Tools and Resources to Help Communities Prepare for Hurricane Season

This resource was developed by AHRQ as part of its Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, which was discontinued on June 30, 2011. Many of AHRQ's PHEP materials and activities will be supported by other Federal agencies. Notice of transfer to another agency will be posted on this site.

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

Satellite photograph of hurricane

June 1-November 30 is hurricane season. These AHRQ tools and resources can help community and emergency planners prepare strategies for emergency response and provide needed care during a hurricane or other natural disaster.

Select for more hurricane preparedness information from the Department of Health & Human Services.

Hurricane Readiness

  • Adapting Community Call Centers for Crisis Support: Adapt existing community call centers to allow callers to retrieve critical information during a hurricane.
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  • Altered Standards of Care in Mass Casualty Events: Develop and plan to use altered standards of care during a hurricane to save as many lives as possible.
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  • Mass Medical Care with Scarce Resources: A Community Planning Guide: Know the ethical and legal considerations and issues related to pre-hospital, hospital, alternative, and palliative care when allocating scarce resources during a hurricane.
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      An abbreviated version, The Essentials highlights just the key elements that need to be considered during a mass casualty event. Go to:
  • Nursing Homes in Public Health Emergencies: Learn about the potential roles and unique needs of nursing homes; includes a special section on Hurricane Katrina.
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  • Recommendations for a National Mass Patient and Evacuee Movement, Regulating and Tracking System: Learn about recommendations for a system to locate, track, and regulate patients and evacuees before or after a hurricane or other disaster.
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Caring for Children

  • Pediatric Hospital Surge Capacity in Public Health Emergencies: Convert a pediatric hospital from standard operating capacity to surge capacity or develop plans for a general emergency department to care for a surge in ill children.
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  • School Based Emergency Preparedness: A National Analysis and Recommended Protocol: Develop a school-based all-hazards emergency response plan to meet the unique needs of children; includes "lessons learned" from the field.
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Hurricane Response

  • Disaster Alternate Care Facilities: Report and Interactive Tools: Use this report and two interactive tools to select alternate care facilities and decide which patients to send to them.
  • Hospital Evacuation Decision Guide: Know what factors you should consider before making the decision to evacuate your facility, shelter in place or reassess as the situation unfolds.
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  • Hospital Assessment and Recovery Guide: Assess hospital infrastructure to determine if it is safe for staff and patients to return to your facility using this detailed checklist.
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  • Mass Evacuation Transportation Model: Use this computer model to estimate the time it will take to evacuate patients and others from health care facilities and transport them to receiving facilities.
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Learn More About These Tools

  • Lessons Learned from the Field of Emergency Preparedness: Learn how others have used AHRQ's public health emergency preparedness tools to prepare their communities for disaster events.
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  • Planning and Practicing for a Disaster: Learn how to use a selection of AHRQ's online models and planning tools from the experts who developed them.
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Current as of June 2010


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