The Southern Region of the American Burn Association began to craft a regional plan to address a surge of burn-injured patients after a mass casualty event in 2004. Published in 2006, this plan has been tested through modeling, exercise, and actual events. This article focuses on the process of how the plan was created, how it was tested, and how it interfaces with other ongoing efforts on preparedness. One key to success regarding how people respond to a disaster can be traced to preexisting relationships and collaborations. These activities would include training or working together and building trust long before the crisis. Knowing who you can call and rely on when you need help, within the context of your plan, can be pivotal in successfully managing a disaster. This article describes how a coalition of burn center leaders came together. Their ongoing personal association has facilitated the development of planning activities and has kept the process dynamic. This article also includes several of the building blocks for developing a plan from creation to composition, implementation, and testing. The plan discussed here is an example of linking leadership, relationships, process, and documentation together. On the basis of these experiences, the authors believe these elements are present in other regions. The intent of this work is to share an experience and to offer it as a guide to aid others in their regional burn disaster planning efforts.
From the *Division of North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; †School of Medicine, University of Tennessee, Memphis; ‡Department of General Surgery, School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
This work is supported in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/ASPR Hospital Preparedness Program Grant CDC-RFA-TP12-1201 through the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services Contract 00027162. We also thank the support of our educational programs through FEMA Grant EMW-2011-FP-01131.
Address correspondence to Randy D. Kearns, DHA, MSA, CEM, 101 Manning Drive CB 7600, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7600.