Disasters take on many forms ranging from natural to man-made. Hospitals must be prepared for any type of disaster by having the following:
- plans and supplies to care for existing patients as well as disaster victims
- quarantine capability (keeping exposed persons separated from non-exposed), e.g., patients with evidence of a contagious lung infection would be separated from those without symptoms of the infection
- mock disaster drills for plan testing and revision
The American Hospital Association provides up-to-date disaster readiness resources for hospitals and individuals. Various local, state, and national agencies work together to support communities in times of disaster; however, planning and coordination are necessary to protect the integrity of hospitals during times of disaster.