In the Netherlands, historically much has been invested in flood prevention. However, there has been little focus on preparation before and during a flood. Without plans for preparedness and emergency management, floods can extensively disrupt the regular functioning of the healthcare system. The floods in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium in July 2021 revealed what the consequences could be, and that we need to better prepare healthcare facilities, even during a shortlived flood. For example, the VieCurie Medical Centre in Venlo had to evacuate more than 200 patients due to an anticipated flood threat, whereas some elderly homes were flooded and evacuation of their vulnerable patients completed although flooded. This experience indicates the potential lack of awareness and preparedness of healthcare facilities to flood risk.
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