The San Salvatore Hospital in Coppito was closed shortly after the 6 April 2009 L'Aquila earthquake, even though the buildings on its campus experienced only limited and localized structural damage. The decision to close part or all of an essential facility such as a hospital can be easily made in the heat of the moment after a disaster, but reopening even portions of such a facility is far more complex and raises a large number of operational issues. A documented pre-established program for post-event safety inspections, as well as training in its implementation for both on-site and backup personnel, is vital to the continued operation of any essential facility. While continued operation after an event may be the targeted goal, it may not actually be fully achieved, in particular for older facilities, and some disruption is to be expected. Management of realistic expectations is a vital part of the program for post-event safety inspections.

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