Roles, responsibilities, and working relationships among those responsible for disaster operations should be clarified in the planning process to lessen the confusion that invariably occurs during a disaster.25 Selected protocols should require personnel to perform functions that are relatively similar to their day-to-day activities.

The disaster planning process should begin by answering the following questions:

1. What types of disasters are most likely to occur in the community (hazard analysis)?

2. What are the disaster planning requirements of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), as well as local and state health agencies?26

3. What are the capabilities and responsibilities of the hospital?

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