After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, disaster preparedness throughout the nation has changed. In 2002, Los Angeles County became a direct recipient of the National Bioterrorism Hospital Preparedness Program (NBHPP) grant. From that grant, 11 Disaster Resource Centers (DRCs) were developed throughout the county, with each having 8-10 "umbrella hospitals." With Los Angeles County being approximately 4,000 square miles with a population of nearly 10 million people, this program is definitely needed.
Long Beach Memorial is one of the newest Disaster Resource Centers in Los Angeles County, sharing duties with St. Mary Medical Center to protect Long Beach and neighboring cities. Our goal as a DRC is to take an "all hazards" approach to disaster preparedness, with an emphasis on terrorism preparedness. We have also expanded our bioterrorism equipment and will provide training.