Houston's medical disaster response to Hurricane Katrina: part 1: the initial medical response from Trauma Service Area Q

Ann Emerg Med. 2009 Apr;53(4):505-14. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2008.10.014. Epub 2009 Jan 10.


After Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, thousands of ill and injured evacuees were transported to Houston, TX. Houston's regional disaster plan was quickly implemented, leading to the activation of the Regional Hospital Preparedness Council's Catastrophic Medical Operations Center and the rapid construction of a 65-examination-room medical facility within the Reliant Center. A plan for triage of arriving evacuees was quickly developed and the Astrodome/Reliant Center Complex mega-shelter was created. Herein, we discuss major elements of the regional disaster response, including regional coordination, triage and emergency medical service transfers into the region's medical centers, medical care in population shelters, and community health challenges.

MeSH terms

  • Cyclonic Storms*
  • Disaster Planning*
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Patient Transfer
  • Relief Work / organization & administration*
  • Texas
  • Triage*
  • Urban Health