Local community needs can increase quickly during a sudden disaster or public health crisis. Health centers provide a key role in addressing healthcare demands during and after a natural disaster or public health emergency. The GPCA Emergency Management Program provides health centers with training, technical assistance, and resources to improve their ability to efficiently respond and recover more readily to emergency situations.

  • GPCA and health center members work collaboratively with local government, hospitals, and emergency management agencies as an integrated part of a statewide, regional, and local emergency planning and response system.


If you have a question related to preparing for healthcare demands during and after a natural disaster or public health emergency, please complete this form. We will be in touch shortly.

    CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule

    In November 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) established the Emergency Preparedness Requirements (EP Rule) to provide consistent and comprehensive emergency preparedness requirements for Medicare and Medicaid providers, including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Centers (RHCs) to increase patient safety during emergencies. November 15, 2017, all FQHCs (and affected providers and suppliers) must meet all the applicable requirements of the rule.

    Four Core Elements of the CMS Rule

    Risk Assessment and Emergency Planning
    • Hazards likely in geographic area
    • Care-related emergencies
    • Equipment and Power failures
    • Interruption in Communications, including cyber attacks
    • Loss of all/portion of facility
    • Loss of all/portion of supplies
    Communication Plan
    • Complies with Federal and State laws
    • System to Contact Staff, including patients’ physicians, other necessary persons
    • Well-coordinated within the facility, across health care providers, and with state and local public health departments and emergency management agencies.
    Policies and Procedures
    • Complies with Federal and State laws
    Training and Testing
    • Complies with Federal and State laws
    • Maintain and at a minimum update annually

    CMS (Conditions of Participation) Final Rule for Healthcare Providers

    Updated and effective 11/29/19


    • Emergency program: Health Centers must conduct a review of their emergency program every 2 years
    • Emergency plan: Health Centers are no longer required to include documentation of efforts to contact local, tribal, regional, state, and federal emergency preparedness officials and a facility’s participation in collaborative and cooperative planning efforts in their emergency plan
    • Training: Health Centers are required to conduct a training every 2 years
    • Testing: Health Centers are required to conduct one training exercise once a year
    • Patient Care Policies and Facility Evaluation: Health Centers are required to conduct a review of the patient care policies and facility evaluation once a year