A new report from the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) shares lessons learned by hospitals responding to an exceptional series of natural disasters in the state last year, including a catastrophic tornado that struck the city of Joplin May 22. "During storms that brought unprecedented snow, ice, floods and tornadoes to Missouri in 2011, hospitals throughout the state once again demonstrated their ability to serve their communities," says MHA President and CEO Herb Kuhn. "In times of emergency, communities depend on hospitals for immediate, lifesaving medical assistance. This report demonstrates that Missouri's hospitals fulfilled that role and more, especially following the Joplin tornado. Sharing the experiences of 2011 will help every hospital prepare for the unexpected." The report focuses on nine key areas of preparedness: planning, communications, resources and assets, safety and security, staffing, volunteers, utilities, medical surge and evaluation.

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