Purpose: The Emergency Preparedness Committee is to coordinate physician participation with other San Antonio medical and emergency organizations, and to develop the processes to assist physicians in preparing for significant, but unexpected emergency situations affecting the community.
The Committee has four objectives in support of its purpose during various terrorist or disaster situations:
1. Organize and identify physicians to assume pre-designated hospital or shelter roles;
2. Serve as a clearinghouse for physician volunteers;
3. Educate physicians on preparation for and treatment of a variety of exposures and medical problems that are envisioned to occur; and
4. Provide information about equipment and supplies to adequately and appropriately prepare physicians, staff and facilities.
The focus of the Committee for the last several years has been and will be on organizational efforts to prepare for hurricane evacuations to Bexar County from various Texas coastal areas. The committee has also worked to create more detailed information on physician office preparation for pandemic flu and a variety of terrorist scenarios that also could occur in Bexar County. It is anticipated Committee preparation will allow for a ready source of information that physician offices can rapidly assimilate in order to make decisions about how or if to participate in various disaster/terrorist situations when the time comes and to have a template to prepare for a pandemic flu episode.
The Committee meets six times per year and discusses strategies to ensure staff resources and society processes are sufficiently organized to respond when the need arises. There are also additional opportunities to meet and participate with the other local planning committees and organizations such as the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (SAMHD), the Medical Volunteer Coordinating Committee (MVCC), Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC), as well as others.
Physician involvement with the Committee for the most part will be through responding to calls for volunteers, commonly during hurricane season, and through review of the Society’s preparedness. Society physicians are needed to staff general and special needs shelters during the June through November season when the occasion arises as evacuees arrive in San Antonio. Through adequate planning and appropriate resource procurement, all BCMS physicians can be prepared for the many disasters and pandemics that could occur in our community. BCMS encourages each medical society member to spend time with their staff and review the information on the Society website on how to prepare for the various disaster scenarios and pandemics.
Meets the second Thursday bimonthly – 7:30 a.m.
Dr. David Cohen, Chair
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