Bay area hospitals not ready for quakes

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

February 11, 2015

Many hospitals across California are not ready for a major earthquake, according to a report from NBC News.

Some have not made necessary upgrades to their buildings in decades, and state law doesn’t require them do so for another five years. The report asserts that state documents reveal that a third of acute care hospitals will likely collapse during a strong earthquake.

According to the report, hospitals in California face two deadlines to meet new compliance codes. The first is in 2020 and requires all acute care facilities be able to withstand a strong earthquake. As of January 15, 34 percent of Bay Area hospitals have not met that deadline, the report said, saying that about 29 out of 84 hospitals that face a significant risk of collapse during a strong earthquake.

California earthquake codes currently require hospitals to prove they are capable of staying open and operational immediately after a strong quake by 2030, the report said.