Would Your Plan Be Derailed Easily?

Train derailments are not something that most people consider a possibility anymore. And to be sure, most emergency response plans involving healthcare facilities don’t include a response to a train derailment. But after a handful of incidents involving trains in the past month, it may be time to reconsider this.

Why let current events determine your plans?

While we, as emergency managers, cannot jump at each and every issue that society faces, we must be prepared to recognize patterns and problems. The bottom line is if there have been four fatal accidents involving trains across the United States in the last few months, can you really afford not to consider how a train derailment could affect your organization?
And when there is a pattern of events, such as hurricanes, tornados, and human-made events, a good emergency manager recognizes that and acts upon it.

It isn’t about the trains.

Emergency response is not about the latest trend in events; it’s about being prepared for all of them. Yes, during hurricane season, we focus on hurricanes. When it’s time for the Super Bowl or World Series, we focus on large-scale events. When there are problems with a response, we work to fix them.
Current events may not dictate what we need to work on in our organizations, but it should spark a quick discussion about the plan. When a train derails in Washington State, it’s time for people Alabama to consider their plans for such an event. It’s just good business sense.

What can we learn from these events?

We’ve said it before, and we will continue to do so. After-action reviews are the essential ticket to figuring out what happened and how we can improve. We need to find a way to write them quickly and thoroughly, and more importantly, we need to find a way to share them far and wide. If we can’t learn from those who responded to an event in Alaska, then we can’t do better in Maine.
Are you ready to learn more about what your emergency response plan is missing? Let’s chat.
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