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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

National Disaster Medical System

The Best of Care in the Worst of Times

When disaster strikes, people need health professionals they can count on to protect health and augment healthcare systems to stabilize patients and save lives. Disasters like Hurricane Sandy, the tornadoes in Joplin, MO, and the flooding in Louisiana have shown that major disasters can overwhelm state, local, tribal and territorial resources. When that happens, the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) is there to help fill in the gaps, supplementing health and medical systems and response capabilities.

NDMS professionals also serve behind the scenes at many large-scale national events, like the Presidential Inauguration, or Republican and Democratic National Conventions, where there is the potential need for a cadre of trained medical professionals to provide help when seconds count.

When NDMS is called into action at the request of state, local, tribal or territorial authorities or by other federal departments, these medical professionals provide patient care, patient movement, and definitive care; contribute veterinary services; furnish fatality management support; and more.

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Watch, Learn and Listen

Video: The National Disaster Medical System
Video: NDMS Patient Movement Exercise 

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  • This page last reviewed: September 09, 2017