Planning Topics

Pediatrics – Save the Children has produced these three documents to help local and state emergency managers/coordinators in their efforts to meet the special needs of children. This guide is meant to assist the planning process and not take its place as every community or location is different.

Pediatrics – Reviewing Deaths of Children in Disaster and Mass Fatality Events. This guidance document is from the Center for Fatality Review and Prevention and assists with the process for reviewing and properly documenting a pediatric death review, an important piece to response and preparedness.

Seniors – The Disaster Preparedness Guide for Seniors and Caregivers will cover the common types of emergencies that family and caregivers of seniors should be aware of, tips for helping the elderly evacuate when needed and a handy checklist of items to have and bring with you in the event of an emergency.

Hospital Preparedness Advisory Group – The Hospital Preparedness Advisory Group (HPAG) was established in 2008 to advise the Association’s Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program (HEP) and CHA membership on hospital emergency preparedness matters. The mission of HPAG is to improve hospital emergency preparedness and response through effective all-hazards planning, coordination and collaboration between health care organizations, health care coalitions and state-level health and medical advisory committees. For more information, please contact Lyle Moore, CHA director of hospital emergency preparedness, at 720.330.6043.

PHMAC – A 27 member committee that serves as an expert stakeholder group to provide the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response ideas and guidance on the direction of public health and medical emergency preparedness, response and recovery efforts in Colorado.

HCC Council – A council made from representatives of the nine health care coalitions and strives to support, guide and advocate for Colorado health care coalitions by sharing information, alignment of priorities and goals with each other and response partners, promotion of long-term sustainability and strengthening relationships with state and federal partners.

Colorado Crisis Standards of Care Plan – This plan, when enacted by the Governor, is designed to assist health care providers in their decision making with the intention of maximizing patient survival and minimizing the adverse outcomes that might occur due to changes to normal operations when the volume of patients and their resource needs far surpass available capabilities and the capacity of health care professionals and facilities to provide normal standards of care.

Health Industry Operational Continuity – Cyber Incident (OCCI) Checklist – This checklist is intended to provide a flexible template for operational staff and executive management to respond to and recover from an extended enterprise outage due to a serious cyber-attack. 

Managing Threats and Protecting Patients – Given the increasingly sophisticated and widespread nature of cyber-attacks, the health care industry must make cybersecurity a priority and make the investments needed to protect its patients. This document sets forth a common set of voluntary, consensus-based, and industry-led guidelines, best practices, methodologies, procedures, and processes to follow.

The Cybersecurity Act of 2015 helped to enhance cybersecurity by creating a Task Group that developed a set of guidelines and procedures for health care organizations to enhance cybersecurity.

Cyber Essentials – This document provides a starting point to cyber readiness with basic steps and resources to improve cybersecurity by providing tips and guides for leaders and it professionals.

Colorado Health Care Coalition Integrated Evacuation Plan Guide and Template –These documents provide a recommended approach to planning for a coordinated and collaborative response when evacuation and reception of patients is necessary.

2017-2022 HPP Capabilities – The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has developed this guidance on capabilities that describe what the health care system need to accomplish to effectively prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency incidents, both natural and manmade.

2018 PHEP Capabilities – The 2018 Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities were developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide a set of national standards for State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Public Health Agencies to accomplish to effectively prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency incidents, both natural and manmade.

Colorado All Hazards Region Map

Colorado RETAC Region Map

The Preparedness Cycle – The Preparedness Cycle is achieved and maintained through a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, exercising and taking steps to improve. For more on FEMA based emergency planning, click here.

Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) – HICS is an incident command system designed for hospitals and intended for use in both emergency and non-emergency situations.  Use this link to connect with multiple tools and resources to assist in implementing HICS in your facility.

The Health Alert Network –The Health Alert Network (HAN) is the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE), Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response’s (OEPR) primary method of disseminating public health alerts and prevention guidelines to partners, providers and key stakeholders.  HAN communications can be initiated by authorized personnel at the federal, state or local public health level. The goal is to continuously strive to improve the effectiveness of health related communications. To join the HAN distribution list, email [email protected].

Durable Medical Equipment in Disasters – This ASPR TRACIE fact sheet provides information on general DME categories and focuses on electricity-dependent DME that may be affected by disasters and emergencies, including power failures. It also includes information to assist healthcare system preparedness stakeholders plan for medically vulnerable populations who rely on DME.

Colorado Hospital Memorandum of Understanding –The Colorado Hospital Memorandum of Understanding is a voluntary agreement among Colorado hospitals to provide assistance at the time of an event that overwhelms the capability of the hospital to respond.  Use this link to find out more information and to see if your facility participates in this agreement.

Closed POD Materials – Guidance for coordinating with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment to function as a Closed Point of Dispensing (POD) site to provide medication in the form of pills, in response to a public health threat or emergency in Colorado.

Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) – Resources from the CHEMM website for emergency responders and health care workers concerning fourth generation nerve agents, also known as Novichoks or A-series nerve agents.

FEMA Emergency Support Functions (ESF) – The Emergency Support Function, or ESF, provides a structure for support to an incident. The group functions together as a mechanism to provide support from subject matter experts as it relates to the support function or group of functions.

General Disaster Response and Recovery Information


Violence and Trauma-specific Information


Resources for Children, Youth, Parents and Other Caregivers, and Schools


Resources for Disaster Responders

  • Tips for Disaster Responders: Preventing and Managing Stress
  • Emergency Responders: Tips for Taking Care of Yourself
    • This online article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes the importance of responder self-care and presents steps responders can take before, during, and after deployment to manage stress and avoid burnout and secondary traumatic stress. Suggestions are provided for working with other responders on stress management as well as maintaining habits to support health and optimal functioning as a responder.
  • Psychological First Aid (PFA) Online
    • The NCTSN offers this online course to train new disaster responders in PFA, as well as to provide a refresher training for more experienced responders who want to review this evidence-informed, practical approach to disaster response. The 6-hour course features a simulation of disaster response, demonstrations of PFA techniques, and tips from expert responders and disaster survivors.


Additional Resource for Acute Needs

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    • Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a source of support available 24/7 to people in crisis, including challenging reactions to disasters. Call 1–800–273–TALK(1–800–273–8255), or, for support in Spanish, call 1–888–628–9454.
  • A traumatic event such as this is unexpected and often brings out strong emotions. People can call the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline’s toll-free number (1–800–985–5990)and receive immediate counseling. This free, confidential, and multilingual crisis support service is also available via SMS (send text to 1-800-985-5990) to anyone experiencing psychological distress as a result of this event. People who call and text are connected to trained and caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the network. Helpline staff provide confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services. 

Winter Weather Facility Checklist – This basic winter weather facility checklist will assist facility managers in preparing facilities for winter weather or to build a maintenance plan for winter weather issues affecting facilities.

Major Earthquakes & Cascading Events: Potential Health and Medical Implication – This ASPR TRACIE resource provides an overview of the potential significant health and medical response and recovery needs facing areas affected by a major earthquake with or without additional cascading events. The focus of this document is on human health and the healthcare system response to earthquakes, however, the health of people, animals, and the environment are all interconnected, so general considerations for animals and the environment are included. The list of considerations is not exhaustive, but does reflect a thorough scan of publications and resources available that describe past incident effects and response.

American Academy of Family Physicians – Personal Preparedness Guide – Once you have planned for the safety of yourself, your family, and your possessions, you will have peace of mind and be able to help others. This guide will help you establish a plan for your personal preparedness. The checklists and inventories provided should not be considered complete. Every family is different and each will have its own needs and concerns. As you use this guide, consider any unique needs, including mobility, disability, special needs, and other medical needs for your family.

From Evacuation Plans to Insurance Coverage, Emergency Preparedness for Seniors – This guidance document developed by MoneyGeek walks through a basic understanding of senior citizen needs during an emergency and tips for preparing.

Student’s Guide to Emergency and Disaster Preparedness This guide helps staff members with college students to learn about the importance of a college disaster preparedness plan, while also helping those students create an effective plan in the event of an emergency on campus. Understanding a plan, both student and parent, will have ripple effects and peace of mind for staff if their child is encompassed within that emergency incident on campus.

RISC Toolkit –The Healthcare and Public Health (HPH) Risk Identification and Site Criticality (RISC) Toolkit is an objective, data-driven all-hazards risk assessment that can be used by public and private organizations within the HPH Sector to inform emergency preparedness planning, risk management activities, and resource investments. The RISC Toolkit contains three self-assessment modules, allowing users to identify external threats and internal hazards specific to their site; assess the vulnerability of their site based on industry standards and guidance; and evaluate the criticality of and consequences to their site in the event of an incident.

ASPR TRACIE Hospital PPE Planning Tool – This tool can help hospitals estimate minimum PPE quantities needed to manage patients infected with special pathogens. This customizable Excel file summarizes estimated needs for both the initial assessment and hospitalization of patients. Outputs may be used for determining PPE cache levels and may also inform discussions with vendors about how to ensure supply chain continuity.

This tool, a guidance document, will assist medical facilities by combining multiple documents and sources of information surrounding infectious disease precautions and the PPE recommended.

Hazard Vulnerability Analysis – Hazard vulnerability analysis (HVA) and risk assessment are systematic approaches to identifying hazards or risks that are most likely to have an impact on a health care facility and the surrounding community.  Use this link to connect with multiple tools and resources to assist in conducting an HVA for your facility.

Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP)  COOP improves an organizations ability to continue functioning when a disaster or event disturbs normal operations.

CHA Emergency Code Implementation Documents – The CHA Emergency Code is a set of standardized codes using plain-language that simplifies the alert and notification process when specific events occur within a hospital setting.

Active Shooter -The Active Shooter Planning and Response Guide takes an in-depth look at the four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery; and offers step by step guidance to assist health care facilities in active shooter planning and response.

Hospitals and Health Care Facilities – Security Awareness for Soft Targets and Crowded Places: This quick guide can help with planning efforts concerning security and workplace violence.

Guiding Principles to Mitigate Workplace Violence – The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) in 2015 jointly released Guiding Principles on Mitigating Violence in the Workplace. These principles provide a framework to systematically reduce lateral, and patient and family violence in hospital settings.

Workplace Violence Article, The Joint Commission Quick Safety, Issue 47, January 2019: De-escalation in Health Care – The purpose of this Quick Safety from The Joint Commission is to present some de-escalation models and interventions for managing aggressive and agitated patients in the ED and inpatient settings.