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Disaster at work?


Specializes in Telemetry, Med-Surg, ED, Psych.

During our recent hospital wide disaster drill, I thought to myself (bad idea) "What would happen in a real fire?"

It sounds a little naive to wait for the administrative staff to decide when we can evacuate if there was a massive fire.

Has anyone on here ever experienced a disaster at work (Fire, Tornado, Blackout, Etc)? What happened and what was expected of you and what did you really do?

Did administrative managment offer help or walk away?

NicuGal, MSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU. Has 30 years experience.

I worked the night of the big black out here on the Northeast coast...it sucked. But we do have a whole disaster plan in place. Many of us have been thru HEICS training at my hospital. Very eye opening.

Our biggest concern that night was that we didn't know what was going on out in the world. Our cells phones weren't working, we had no TV or radio or computer. We had to wait until someone from our unit went to the command center to bring back news and tell us where to go for the supplies (ie water and fans as it was over 90 degrees at one point in our unit). No one was permitted to leave until the safety plan was in place and it was determined safe for people to leave. We had one manager in the hospital who left in the midst of this...she was fired the next day.

The whole city was in gridlock.

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

I've been at work for 2 campus wide blackouts and 1 fire (i work as a per diem ADN). Trust me when I say that I was hopping those days. One blackout spared the icu and vent units, the other black out didn't. I was actually went bed to bed to ensure with my own 2 eyes that all my vents were operating properly on battery power (as the generators didn't even kick in for that one - so red plugs were a moot point.) I then raced down to the er - nope, no juice there - called upper mangement to get the blessing to put er on stand by. Before i know it the floors are calling me - the batteries won't last forever in the vents. Well, it wasn't going to be pretty, but if i had to i was prepared to call in every emergency vehicle that could give me generator power and line the vented patients along the plugs! (it didn't come to that thank God!)

The fire was fortunately in a closed part of the hospital - no need to start evacuating patients.

Basically, when these disasters hit i end up running from floor to floor with my portable (and sometimes regular cell phone) glued to me ear. No abandoning ship for me!

BrnEyedGirl, BSN, MSN, RN, APRN

Specializes in Cardiac, ER. Has 18 years experience.

I work in a community just east of Joplin Missouri. When the tornado hit Joplin, several from my hospital were there within a couple of hours. It was devastating, but almost magical. We had no electricity, it was dark and wet and there was debris everywhere. People just appeared offering to help, tents were set up with clean linens and cots, people arrived with pickup trucks offering to take people to other hospitals, we got creative and made it work. No one asked for a turkey sandwich, no one complained about being treated on the floor in the hallway, no one complained about not having warm blankets or even dry ones! We used any paper work we could find to jot down notes on care and injuries and sent people on. It was a true emergency and I didn't meet one person who wasn't willing to help (even the patients) or who wasn't extremely thankful for any help they received. My faith in human beings was restored that night!