Preparing for Natural Disasters

Scripps is a leader in disaster preparedness, planning for emergencies, including natural disasters and utility failures. Scripps works closely with federal, state and local governments, community leaders and public safety agencies to help care for disaster victims.

In California, we were the first hospital to support mobile field hospitals. In June 2012, Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder led a 56-member team of Scripps clinicians and administrative staff to Sacramento for training.

The Scripps California Medical Assistance Team participated in a full-scale earthquake simulation, during which members operated a 50-bed mobile field hospital and treated 80 patients. The team included five instructors, a 15-member hospital administrative support unit and a 30-member medical response team.

In emergencies, the State of California can deploy up to three, 200-bed mobile field hospitals within 72 hours. The hospitals are similar to permanent facilities, containing emergency departments, operating rooms, triage, trauma, intensive care, medical wards, supply, pharmacy, labs and radiology.

“I absolutely believe that, at some point, there will be a major disaster in California, and a hospital will need to be deployed,” says Chris Van Gorder. “Our trained personnel will be ready to go if that happens.”