Emergency Planning Resources for Hospitals

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

General Planning for Disasters

Patient Surge

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. The toolkit also includes implementation strategies, timelines and forms that can be adapted to the size and services of any hospital.


To get modifiable tools and templates, email healthcareprep@health.nyc.gov.


The following resources can help hospitals be prepared to meet the needs of children during a disaster.

  • The Pediatric Disaster Coalition is a group of hospitals, public health, municipal services and community groups that the Health Department created to ensure the effective use of critical assets during and after a large scale disaster affecting children.
  • Pediatric Disaster Healthcare Preparedness Toolkit: This toolkit is a collection of guidelines and templates designed for pediatric providers to create disaster plans at their individual healthcare sites. Furthermore, it offers comprehensive information on how to conduct exercises that can be used for plan revision and improvement within the context of overall disaster preparedness.
  • Children in Disasters: Hospital Guidelines for Pediatric Preparedness (PDF): These guidelines provide hospitals with useful, proactive strategies and protocols for providing protection, treatment and acute care for children during a disaster.

American Academy of Pediatrics Resources

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers information on a variety of topics to help hospitals improve their pediatric preparedness.

Nursing Staff Training

Health Department research demonstrated a need for baseline training on Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) incidents among hospital nursing staff. We partnered with Columbia University to develop an awareness-level orientation/training approach comprising six curriculum modules, including five based on CBRNE events. This approach includes a 30-minute, self-paced online refresher training to support the initial train-the-training sessions.

If you are interested in learning more about this orientation/training, email healthcareprep@health.nyc.gov.

Planning for Specific Scenarios

Burn, Trauma and Mass Casualty Events

The Integrated Explosive Event and Mass Casualty Event Response Plan Template (PDF) 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.

The New York State Department of Health's Regional Burn Centers and Trauma Centers receive patients and regulate care during an emergency.

Chemical Emergencies

The following documents provide recommendations and protocols to help hospitals prepare for chemical emergencies. They should be considered for discussion and development purposes only.

Radiological Emergencies

Communicable Diseases

You can get tools and guidance documents designed to help health care systems prepare to safely and successfully identify, isolate, assess, transport and treat patients who have a suspected or confirmed special pathogen.

In the below video, watch how the Health Department and its partners hold drills to practice their response for the worst scenarios.

More Information