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Buildings: The location, design specifications, and resilience of the materials used, all contribute to a hospitalís ability to withstand natural hazards.
Patients: In normal times, health facilities are occupied 24 hours a day by highly vulnerable people, and are often full to capacity. In disaster situations, damage to hospital components compounds patient vulnerability, as well as increasing the number of patients.
Hospital beds: Disasters often cause the loss of hospital beds, frequently just as the demand for emergency care increases.
Health workforce: The loss or unavailability of health workers compromises care for the injured. Hiring outside personnel to sustain response capacity adds to the overall economic burden.
Equipment: Damage to non-structural elements often surpasses the cost of damage to the building. Even less costly damage can still force a hospital to halt operations.
Basic lifelines and services: A hospitalís ability to function relies on lifelines and other basic services such as electrical power, water and sanitation, and waste management and disposal. The loss of even some services can affect the entire health facility.