Lakeland Prepares for Emergency Scenarios
Apr 21, 2015 Share

(ST. JOSEPH) – On Wednesday, April 22, Lakeland Health will hold an emergency management exercise designed to evaluate the organization’s readiness in the event of a disaster. Lakeland team members and community agencies will utilize the Incident Command System (ICS), a standardized approach to incident management, to respond to the proposed scenario in a seamless, coordinated fashion and ensure the safety of patients and local residents.

“Just like in a real disaster, our associates won’t know exactly what to expect on Wednesday, only that the exercise will involve a ‘Code 3,’ or major incident,” said Rich Matthews, Director of Safety, Security, and Emergency Preparedness at Lakeland Health. “We take emergency preparedness very seriously at Lakeland, and we are continuously working with our partners in the community to make sure we are ready for any potential threats.”

Lakeland facilities will be open for business as usual during the emergency management exercise, and the activity will not impact patient care. However, visitors at some locations may notice signage about the drill, or see staff members interacting with student volunteers assuming the role of “patients” in a disaster.


Emergency Preparedness – What You Can Do
All community members are encouraged to visit for information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) about preparing for an emergency. The Ready campaign asks individuals to do three things: get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan, and be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and the appropriate responses.

Although every family’s needs in an emergency may vary, FEMA recommends starting with the following items in a basic emergency supply kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
“Everyone should also consider having at least two emergency supply kits, one full kit at home, and smaller, portable kits in their workplace, vehicle, or other places where they spend time,” said Sandra Daignault, RN, Emergency Preparedness Consultant and Infection Preventionist at Lakeland Health. “Once you put your kits together, regularly check your supplies to make sure they are in good condition when you need them.”
For additional items to consider including in an emergency supply kit and other emergency management information, visit
About Lakeland Health
Lakeland Health is a non-profit, community-owned health system, which includes three hospitals, an outpatient surgery center, a cancer center, rehabilitation centers, long-term care, hospice, home care services, and physician practices. Lakeland has over 3,800 employees who provide clinical and support services at locations throughout southwest Michigan, and partners with more than 500 affiliated physicians and other providers. For more information, visit

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