Hospitals play an essential role in planning for and responding to the needs of New Yorkers during a citywide public health emergency. Here you will find information, tools and resources to improve hospital mitigation, response, and recovery during emergencies.

Surge Capacity

Patient Surge in Disasters: A Hospital Toolkit for Expanding Resources in Emergencies

The ability of a hospital to take in more patients during a public health emergency is critical. This set of tools provides step-by-step instructions for assessing and documenting surge staffing, facility and supply needs. Also included are implementation strategies, timelines and forms that can be adapted to the size and services of any hospital.

  • Introduction (PDF): Overview of the Patient Surge in Disasters: A Hospital Toolkit for Expanding Resources in Emergencies suite of DOHMH surge tools and templates.
  • Bed Surge Capacity Expansion Tool (BSCET) (PDF): Designed to assist hospital administrators and emergency managers prepare for and respond to unexpected increases in patient volume by pre-identifying expansion opportunities in existing clinical and non-clinical areas.
  • Rapid Discharge Tool (RDT) (PDF): Assists hospital administrators and emergency managers in preparing for and responding to unexpected increases in patient volume by providing them with adaptable plans for rapid discharge based on promising bed surge capacity practices.
  • Rapid Patient Discharge Assessment (RPDA) (PDF): Assists hospitals in evaluating potential discharges and how patients' post-discharge care needs are met.
  • Emergency Department Capacity Expansion Tool (EDCET) (PDF): Assists emergency planners in creating hospital-specific plans that identify and support expansion areas within and (preferably) nearby the Emergency Department.
  • Intensive Care Unit Capacity Expansion Tool (ICUCET) (PDF): Assists identification and creation of additional staffed and supported critical care beds during immediate and sustained phases of public health emergencies.

To obtain modifiable tools and templates, please contact

Mass Casualty Planning

Preparing for Burn, Trauma and Mass Casualty Incidents

  • NYS Department of Health Regional Burn Centers:The New York State Trauma Program, housed within the NYS Department of Health- Bureau of Emergency Medical Services along with the statewide EMS System, regulates and assures high quality trauma care to seriously injured patients.
  • NYS Department of Health Trauma Centers: These are the centers that are currently designated by New York State as trauma centers. EMS delivers patients meeting trauma center criteria to these hospitals.
  • Integrated Explosive Event and Mass Casualty Event Response Plan Template (PDF): This guide was the final product of a collaborative effort between GNYHA, their Critical Care Advisory Group, and the DOHMH. The Guide provides a framework for a hospital disaster response system that improves coordination and integration of the ED, ICU, Radiology, and Trauma Surgery when presented with an influx of patients. It coordinates the ICS response and outlines the critical actions each unit should undertake.

Pediatric Preparedness

Preparing to meet the needs of children in a disaster

Pediatric Preparedness Resources

Please visit the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for important topics and approaches to improved pediatric preparedness.

Nursing Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness for Nursing Staff

This project began as a research initiative to determine what the emergency preparedness knowledge gaps and training requirements were for nurses at NYC hospitals. Our research demonstrated a need for baseline training on Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) incidents among hospital nursing staff. From this, DOHMH and Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness developed an awareness-level orientation/training approach comprising 6 curriculum modules, 5 of which are based on CBRNE events. A 30 minute self-paced, online refresher training was also developed to support the initial train-the-training sessions.

Please contact for documents.

Chemical Emergencies

Learn about how hospitals can be better prepared for chemical emergencies.

Decontamination Recommendations and Protocols

The following documents should be considered for discussion and development purposes only. They may offer new, yet unproven, ideas and solutions to disaster planning activities. Each hospital or network that has submitted documents acknowledges that all preparedness planning tools are in constant revision.

Radiological Emergencies

Learn more about how hospitals can be better prepared for radiological emergencies.

Radiological Resources