Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Emergency Management & Homeland Security


Emergency Management


College of Engineering & Applied Science

Committee Chair

Dr. Xiang Chen


Water is a crucial commodity, especially in the aftermath of disaster events. Healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, require a water supply for both every day and emergency processes. As required by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), healthcare facilities must stock a sufficient amount of water for medical services following disaster events. The purpose of this research is to explore the capabilities of healthcare facilities regarding the water supply for emergency purposes. The study investigated the usage and preparedness trends of water supply in two hospitals in Southeast Louisiana. The hospitals selected for research allowed for comparing and contrasting of the capabilities of hospitals located in urban versus rural environments. The study identifies key issues and trends in the emergency water supply systems at the two hospitals. Common themes identified include the disparity of needs between the hospitals in their respective environments, an adaptive capacity in addressing emergency preparedness, and the need for spontaneous improvisation during crisis. The research also identifies future research opportunities, such as improved recommendations of salient rationing of resources and increasing use of cost-benefit reservoirs or water acquisition means. The improvement of the emergency water supply capability can be improved through collaboration with local emergency preparedness organizations, construction of water towers on or near hospital grounds, and the use of synergetic water reservoir capacity.