Disaster Preparedness Plan Background

The January 2010 earthquake in Haiti triggered an unparalleled response from AAOS members. More than 500 of them traveled to Haiti as volunteers.

Concern for the safety and welfare of member volunteers during disaster service prompted the AAOS and OTA boards of directors to establish a Disaster Preparedness Project Team. The two organizations agreed it was essential to have a more organized approach to disaster response for future events, including appropriate medical, disability and liability protection for volunteers.

The AAOS Board of Directors approved the Disaster Preparedness and Response plan in June 2011.

Key elements of the plan include:

  • A customized, orthopaedic-specific training course to help prepare members for service in mass casualty environments. The Disaster Response Course , developed by SOMOS and Co-Sponsored by AAOS, OTA and POSNA, is held annually.
  • An AAOS-Registered Responder Database to more efficiently connect trained volunteers with response agencies in the event of a disaster
  • Information on volunteer pre-credentialing through the US Federal Government and/or NGOs
  • A Disaster Preparedness and Response section of the AAOS website to communicate to members about the Disaster Preparedness Plan, suggested training opportunities, and other resources

Because disaster preparedness and response is not static, the Disaster Response Project Team implementing the plan continuously monitors new information available and responds accordingly.

If you have questions about the Disaster Preparedness Plan, please contact disasterprep@aaos.org .