The role of hospitals in the community response to disasters has received increased attention, particularly since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Hospitals must be prepared to respond to and recover from all-hazards emergencies and disasters. There have been several initiatives to guide hospitals’ role in these events and to assist hospitals in their effort to prepare for them. This article focuses on the efforts of 4 distinct groups: The Joint Commission (TJC), the executive branch of the US government, the US Congress, and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Despite the different approach each group uses to assist hospitals to improve their emergency management capabilities, the initiatives reinforce one another and have resulted in increased efforts by hospitals to improve their disaster preparedness and response capabilities and community integration. The continued progress of our medical response system in all-hazard emergencies and disasters depends in large part on the future guidance and support of these 4 key institutions. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2009;3(Suppl 1):S68–S73)
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