Northwest Ohio Disaster Preparedness


The Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio coordinates the Northwest Ohio Healthcare Emergency Management Coalition, which oversees the planning and resources for the 18-county region’s emergency and disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. The coalition includes northwest Ohio’s hospitals, healthcare systems, public health jurisdictions, emergency management agencies, and EMS agencies.

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, a task force of the coalition developed guidance for allocation of scarce resources if there are any shortages. These objective and non-discriminatory guidelines establish a common clinical, ethical and legal framework for all 32 northwest Ohio hospitals. These guidelines can be used by hospitals when responding to any crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and they were developed by a task force of 17 physicians, attorneys, ethicists, patient advocates, nurses and other professionals.

Chief among the coalition’s assets are two climate-controlled portable hospitals, which can be combined into one tent structure with a separate command center. Medical providers can use the portable hospitals to treat people during large events, emergencies and disasters. The units are equipped with beds, medical supplies, lighting and other necessities.

Coalition members practice setting up and staffing the portable hospital units at least twice a year to ensure medical volunteers remain prepared. For example, the combined portable hospital units were deployed and staffed by medical personnel for the Toledo Air Show.