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  1. Ruder, Shirley RN, MS, MSN, EdD


Unfortunately, disasters occur. We cannot always know the effects ahead of time, but we do know that lives can be lost, property damaged, and public health and home care agencies may not be able to provide the normal standard of care. Studies have shown that disaster preparedness content is limited in U.S. nursing programs (Weiner et al., 2005). Given the magnitude of recent natural disasters, such as the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011, these findings are alarming. The increasing demands on healthcare providers in response to emergencies force home healthcare clinicians to identify their roles and responsibilities in emergency preparedness. This article discusses 1 model of disaster response and the role of the home healthcare provider at each stage. It further guides home healthcare nurses in creating a personal and professional plan, enabling them to understand how to minimize the impact of disasters and address the needs of their patients and those close to them.