Emergency Preparedness

About Emergency Preparedness

It’s time to change the way California thinks about disaster response. The state must draw on the lessons of COVID-19 to prepare differently for disasters, so that the next large crisis will be less severe and less deadly.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that hospitals can quickly mobilize to put in place emergency preparedness plans and use flexible approaches to care for patients with the greatest needs during a disaster. In the case of COVID-19, hospitals rapidly converted spaces to create more ICU beds to care for surges of COVID-19 patients, redeployed staff, and utilized other staffing strategies to provide care to critically ill patients.
Given California’s size and complexity, the health care disaster response system of the future must be nimble enough to respond at any given moment to a regional catastrophe or something larger.

FEMA Funding for Eligible COVID-19 Costs Extended Through April 1, 2022 

President Biden has announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will continue to provide 100% federal reimbursement for eligible costs associated with ongoing COVID-19 recovery efforts and vaccine initiatives through April 1, 2022.   The funding will be available to local, state, tribal or territorial governments, and certain non-profit organizations. The policy was set to expire on Dec. 31. 

Register Now for CHA’s Disaster Planning Virtual Conference

Registration is now open for CHA’s Disaster Planning Virtual Conference. This dynamic conference, which will be held Sept 14-15, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (PT) both days, will celebrate and draw inspiration from the determination and perseverance of disaster professionals up and down the state.

Medical Certification Needed for Medical Baseline Programs

In 2020, the major power utilities in California waived the requirement for medical practitioners to certify a patient’s request to enroll in their medical baseline programs. However, this temporary waiver allowing customers to self-certify their eligibility to enroll ended on June 30, and a signature from a qualified medical practitioner is now required. 

State Offers Free One-Time, 30-Day Supply of PPE From Stockpile

On May 14, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced in All Facilities Letter 21-15 that the Statewide Logistics Task Force has authorized all health care providers and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responders to access the state inventory to request a one-time, 30-day sustainment supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). This 30-day supply is free of charge and may be used for stockpiles or in daily operations. Health care providers and EMS responders may request […]

FEMA Announces Additional Reopening Funding

On April 5, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the availability of additional funding to reimburse qualifying costs related to safely reopening and operating certain eligible entities (including private nonprofit medical facilities).   Items eligible for reimbursement include certain personal protective equipment, cleaning and disinfection, COVID-19 diagnostic testing, screening and temperature scanning, and temporary physical barriers for social distancing. The interim policy includes 100% federal […]

FEMA Releases Updated Policy for Public Assistance Related to COVID-19

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released an updated version of its “Coronavirus Pandemic Medical Care Eligible for Public Assistance” policy.   The updated version includes a new section on allowable costs associated with COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration. It also updates the conditions of receiving funding to ensure that recipients focus the use of FEMA funding on underserved populations and high-risk communities. Finally, the policy provides details on […]