Disaster Preparedness & Response Resource Center

  • El Paso Surgeon On-Call During Mass Shooting Response

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    Just as Alan Tyroch, MD, sat down to breakfast in Las Vegas on the morning of Aug. 3, celebrating his mother in-law’s 90th birthday, a gunman walked into a Walmart hundreds of miles away in his hometown of El Paso and opened fire, ultimately killing 22 people and injuring 24 more.

    Dr. Tyroch Discusses His Experience on That Day  
  • Disaster Planning Toolkit: Preparing for the Unexpected

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    Materials in this handbook provide guidance for many emergency situations commonplace in Texas. These guidelines can help the practice identify key emergencies, know what to do in an emergency situation, and plan for the safety of your team. The handbook provides tips on how to train your staff and help develop strategies for resuming functions after an emergency occurs.
    1.75 AMA PRA Cat. 1 • 1.75 ETHICS

    Prepare Your Staff
    and Your Office
  • TMA Whitepaper: Good Samaritan Law

    Expansion of the Good Samaritan law to volunteer health care professionals and sponsoring health care institutions for care, assistance, or advice provided during a disaster

    A General Overview of Senate Bill 752 (86th Legislature) 

  • Legislative Top 10: Law Gives Liability Protections to Physicians Who Respond to Disasters

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    Today’s Texas Medical Association Legislative Hotline video examines Senate Bill 752, which will allow physicians and health care providers to voluntarily respond to disasters without fear of medical liability.

    Check Out the Video
    for More Details
  • Help Your California Colleagues Rebuild From Disastrous Fires

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    If you want to help physicians in California who have been devastated by the ongoing wildfires, the California Medical Association (CMA) and its charitable arm, Physicians for a Healthy California, are taking donations through a recently created webpage.

    California Physicians
    Need Our Help
  • Hurricane Harvey: One Year Later

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    Studies of the public health, mental health, and environmental effects of the storm could take years to complete. Meanwhile, physician practices share their own lessons learned.

    Find Out Why I Was About to Close Up Shop  
  • Hurricane Harvey: The Way Back

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    When she made it back to her office five days after Hurricane Harvey devastated the Gulf Coast, Webster pediatrician Angelina Farella, MD, thought the storm had let her off easy. When she thought she saw only blown-in water, her initial assessment that day was, “We escaped.”

    What Changed?  
  • TMA Fund Helped 54 Practices Rebuild From Hurricane Harvey

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    TMA's Disaster Relief Fund provided monetary gifts to 54 practices in 18 cities, including Houston, Friendswood, Beaumont, Victoria, Kingwood, Columbus, Port Arthur, and Spring. The practices employ 168 physicians and 1,302 non-physician staff members.

    American Physicians Giving Back  
  • TMA Fund Continues to Help Harvey-Affected Practices Rebuild

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    Six months after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas coast, the Texas Medical Association continues to provide financial assistance to practices the storm damaged.

    Assistance Remains Available In Some Areas  
  • A Flood of Problems

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    Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas coast in late August. Widespread flooding in the Houston area wiped out thousands of homes and businesses, including countless medical facilities and practices. Although the short-term health concerns may be apparent, longer-term effects associated with stress and environmental issues can be harder to spot.

    Public Health Concerns and More  
  • Harvey Update: TMA's Latest Update

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    Areas in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey have entered full recovery phase as the storm has moved out of the state. The state has put a variety of resources in place, but recovery and public health initiatives will be coordinated mostly by local officials and facilities in the affected areas.

    Up-to-Date News and Information  
  • Docs Dig Out From the Storm

    TMA takes you inside the recovery effort in Aransas Pass, where physicians and staff are doing everything they can to restore hope and health care to their community.

    Watch the Video
  • TMA Survey Report on Hurricane Harvey

    In September of 2017, a survey was emailed to 13,696 Texas physicians, both members and nonmembers, from counties listed by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) as affected by Hurricane Harvey. After four days, responses were received from 524 physicians with practices from the 39 counties designated by FEMA as official disaster areas. Highlights from the analysis include as a result of Hurricane Harvey, 65 percent of physicians temporarily closed their practice and 35 percent reduced their hours or services.

    See the Results Here

  • Reviewing the Response to Harvey

    TMA takes you inside the recovery effort in Aransas Pass, where physicians and staff are doing everything they can to restore hope and health care to their community.

    Watch the Discussion
  • ''It Was a Little Lake in There''

    See a video of floodwaters rising into NightLight Pediatric Urgent Care and the damage caused by the storm. 

    Read About the Damage Caused By the Storm
  • Access Medical Info for Displaced Texans


    It is difficult to watch as our beloved state suffers from the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Harvey. Even more difficult is the number of Texans displaced as they evacuate to safe places. This means many Texans are seeking medical care outside of their usual region or network of physicians. It helps to know that health information exchanges (HIE) are available to assist physicians by providing access to a patient’s information at the point of care.

    Learn How to Access Patient Records  
  • Volunteering

    Volunteer to help (Link to the Texas Disaster Volunteer Registry)

    The Texas Disaster Volunteer Registry is run by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas physicians can sign up with the registry as a volunteer to provide medical help to Texas communities during or after a disaster.  

  • Helping Your Practice Survive an Emergency or Disaster

    Every healthcare office should maintain written policies for addressing any kind of emergency (e.g., utility disruption or a manmade disaster) and particularly inclement weather and hurricanes. Physicians should also be aware of emergency management plans in the county or community. Click here for a list of local Texas emergency preparedness websites provided by Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

    Here are a few important tips for you and your staff when dealing with an emergency or disaster:

    • Know where your office gas, electricity, and water connections are in case you need to turn them off. Keep back-up generators or a storage plan for your refrigerating systems.
    • Protect your patient records accordingly.
    • Prepare your staff with employee contact lists and information sheets so you and your staff can communicate if an evacuation is necessary.
  • Preparedness Information for Your Patients

    Physicians can play a significant role in helping patients prepare and respond to disaster situations. Patients, especially those with fragile health, should be counseled on the importance of having a disaster plan in place for themselves and their families.

    In addition, physicians can help their patients prepare by:

    • Reminding special needs patients frequently of the 2-1-1 Texas system and instructing them to register with 2-1-1 if they think they will need assistance.
    • Providing guidance to patients with special needs, including pregnant women and those with chronic conditions or disabilities.
    • Discussing maintenance of medications and equipment during a disaster, as well as how to obtain additional medication or equipment if needed.
    • Directing patients to preparedness planning resources such as texasprepares.org, and ready.gov.

    TMA is helping to strengthen your practice by offering advice and creating a climate of medical success across the state. 

  • What could a TMA membership mean for you, your practice, and your patients?