The author has created a system dynamics model to investigate how health care providers can and should respond to increases in patient demand for treatment above usual levels. This response by the health care system is called surge capacity and is an important issue in emergency and disaster planning and response. The model describes how hospital and home care treatment providers can alter their internal staffing and patient treatment policies as well as movements of staff and patients between each other. These providers can fail to respond adequately to surge events by exhausting their staff or by moving too much burden from the hospital sector to the home care sector.