Transportation resource requirements for hospital evacuation


  • Richard M. Zoraster, MD, MPH
  • Roel Amara, RN, BSN
  • Kay Fruhwirth, RN, MSN


evacuation, hospital, infrastructure


other large buildings; the physical plant is vulnerable to acts of nature and man.When hospitals need to evacuate the patient population, logistical support for patient transport will be required. However, a disaster impacting a hospital will likely also affect the surrounding community, and transport resources such as ambulances may be limited as they will also be needed to support the community response. To determine the most efficient deployment of limited transportation resources, a hospital survey was designed specifically to assess information on hospital occupancy and patient transportation needs. Information was obtained from 62 hospitals within Los Angeles County and was used to establish a tool for determining transportation requirements in the event of a hospital evacuation.
This survey demonstrated that approximately 20 percent of hospital inpatients could be discharged to home within a few hours, about 40 percent of hospital inpatients could be transported via vans, buses, or private cars; and the remaining 40 percent would need ambulance transportation for evacuation. Additionally, the survey provides information about the distribution of emergency department and intensive care unit patients and the resources they would require during a hospital evacuation.

Author Biographies

Richard M. Zoraster, MD, MPH

Hospital Preparedness Program Medical Director, Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency, Santa Fe Springs, California; Senior Health Analyst, Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii.

Roel Amara, RN, BSN

Chief Disaster Management and Hospital Preparedness Program Manager, Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency, Santa Fe Springs, California.

Kay Fruhwirth, RN, MSN

Assistant Director and Hospital Preparedness Program Coordinator, Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency, Santa Fe Springs, California.


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How to Cite

Zoraster, MD, MPH, R. M., R. Amara, RN, BSN, and K. Fruhwirth, RN, MSN. “Transportation Resource Requirements for Hospital Evacuation”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 6, no. 3, May 2011, pp. 173-86,