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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Emergency Preparedness Atlas

U.S. Nursing Home and Hospital Facilities

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) sponsored preparation of this atlas to support local/regional planning and response efforts in the event of a bioterrorism or other public health emergency. In the atlas, case studies in six areas illustrate the location of nursing homes relative to population and various emergency preparedness regions. There are also maps of the location of hospitals and nursing homes in all 50 States and the District of Columbia.

Select to Download Information.

Select to access an adjunct of the Atlas—Nursing Homes in Public Health Emergencies, a report on focus group discussions on disaster planning at nursing homes.


The Emergency Preparedness Atlas is designed to support State and local planning and response efforts for a bioterrorism or other public health emergency. The Atlas includes:

  • Case Studies: The Atlas uses maps to illustrate case studies of North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, and southern California. For each case study, a series of maps displays the size range (number of beds) and distribution of nursing homes and hospitals relative to that State's population. Additional maps show the facilities relative to various emergency preparedness regions such as Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Services, Hazardous Materials, and Trauma Coordination as well as Red Cross Chapters.
  • State-specific maps: Each of these 51 maps (including the District of Columbia) indicates the location and size range of nursing homes and hospitals serving the resident population. In addition, each map shows the percentage of the population living in urban areas for each county in the State. In Appendix B, tables present the data illustrated on each map.

The Atlas is intended to stimulate productive discussion about how nursing homes may be used to handle a surge of patients in response to emergency situations—it is not a review of the quality or adequacy of preparedness efforts in any area. The Atlas can help explain the State-specific regulatory environment of nursing homes with respect to surge capacity and illustrate nursing home geographic distribution in the United States.

Maps display the location of hospitals and nursing homes relative to the regional boundaries used by a variety of emergency management and bioterrorism preparedness organizations to coordinate services. An atlas allows research questions related to space to be developed and encourages the data to be explored in ways that may have have not been considered when using more traditional methods of data analysis.

Download Information

Your browser may support downloading the files from this page by using the links below. Right click on the link and then select "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer) or "Save Link As" (Firefox® or Netscape®).

The Atlas is now available as multiple PDF files in order to minimize download times:

  1. Emergency Preparedness Atlas—Front Matter (PDF File, 250 KB).
  2. Emergency Preparedness Atlas—Case Study: North Carolina (PDF File, 14 MB).
  3. Emergency Preparedness Atlas—Case Study: Oregon (PDF File, 7 MB).
  4. Emergency Preparedness Atlas—Case Study: Pennsylvania (PDF File, 17 MB).
  5. Emergency Preparedness Atlas—Case Study: Southern California (PDF File, 10 MB).
  6. Emergency Preparedness Atlas—Case Study: Utah (PDF File, 10 MB).
  7. Emergency Preparedness Atlas—Case Study: Washington (PDF File, 12 MB).
  8. Emergency Preparedness Atlas—State-specific Maps, Alabama-Florida (PDF File, 9 MB).
  9. Emergency Preparedness Atlas—State-specific Maps, Georgia-Maine (PDF File, 10 MB).
  10. Emergency Preparedness Atlas—State-specific Maps, Maryland-New Hampshire (PDF File, 9 MB).
  11. Emergency Preparedness Atlas—State-specific Maps, New Jersey-Rhode Island (PDF File, 11 MB).
  12. Emergency Preparedness Atlas—State-specific Maps, South Carolina-Wyoming(PDF File, 11 MB).
  13. Emergency Preparedness Atlas—Appendixes (PDF File, 650 KB).

For information on PDF files, go to PDF Help.

To obtain a printed copy of Emergency Preparedness Atlas: U.S. Nursing Home and Hospital Facilities (AHRQ Publication No. 07-0029-2), please contact the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at 800-358-9295 or send an E-mail to

AHRQ Publication No. 07-0029-2
Current as of April 2007

Internet Citation:

Emergency Preparedness Atlas: U.S. Nursing Home and Hospital Facilities. AHRQ Publication No. 07-0029-2, April 2007. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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