Disaster Preparedness and Response

Disaster preparedness and response activities present significant legal issues for the public and private sectors. Healthcare providers are a critical part of the response infrastructure and will likely be at the epicenter of any event. These providers, and their legal counsel, must be prepared to respond effectively to future emergencies that can occur at any time.

Whether managing a flu pandemic or working through a natural disaster, our Healthcare Practice helps prepare hospitals, healthcare systems and businesses in other industries to play their part in the nation’s critical infrastructure. We work with clients to address a wide range of legal and policy questions related to preparation for large-scale emergencies, including those that fall under applicable Homeland Security Presidential Directives. Members of our team are responsible for some of the definitive work on how healthcare providers should prepare for shortages of staff and other critical resources in order to continue operations and mitigate potential liability.

  • Advising the U.S. government and many state governments, state public health agencies, healthcare providers and commercial businesses on the complex, leading-edge legal, regulatory, policy and ethical issues associated with pandemic preparedness and response;
  • Facilitating statewide work groups in Virginia and Georgia to develop an approach to addressing critical resource shortages during a large-scale emergency or disaster;
  • Facilitating a pilot site implementation of the critical resource shortage planning guide developed by the statewide work group through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant;
  • Facilitating a statewide work group to address the unique human resource issues that impact a healthcare organization during an emergency or disaster;
  • Facilitating a statewide work group to plan for the establishment and operation of alternate care sites; and
  • Serving as advisory council to a statewide hospital organization on issues related to emergency preparedness and response.