Monday, April 29, 2013

Prepping for Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season is just about a month away, and it is important that everyone prepares for the season, as storms can cause havoc to all states in its path once on land.  AHCA/NCAL has prepared some basic steps to make sure that you, your facility, and most importantly, your residents and caregivers are ready with disaster plans in place. 

You should ensure:
  • disaster plans are up to date
  • current emergency and other contact numbers are posted
  • contracts are up to date
  • maps printed out of your evacuation route
  • face sheets in one location
  • email addresses or contacts of families in one location
  • plan for staff member and resident stress and how will you help staff and residents cope
  • know what your insurance covers 
  • print out contacts for all of your vendors
  • make connections with your emergency personnel and office of emergency management
In addition, it is important that you know which staff members will come in during a storm.  Ensure that staff complete a form of their needs at hire and again once every year.
In addition, if you have to evacuate, have a good resident tracking form in place. This can be done very easily, by using an excel spreadsheet, with the name of the resident, name of bus/ ambulance company, bus/ambulance number, name of driver and where the resident was to be taken. Having the name and number of the bus/ambulance and name of the driver/company is important in case the resident is taken to another location due to surge issues.  
As we have seen with the recent events in Texas, practicing your plan is imperative to a successful implementation. Practice with staff: they need to understand where to go and how to react to an event.
AHCA has resources that you can use. All of the resources below and more can be found on the AHCA disaster page:
Nursing Home Incident Command System—follows the framework for the Incident Command System that is used by Police and Fire Fighters and is adapted for Nursing Homes. This is a good resource to be used in conjunction with your disaster plan
AHCA Red Envelope—Use this in case you need to evacuate your building and have all important resident documents in one place.
Dementia care- This document is designed as a guide for non-clinical staff who become involved in direct patient care during a flu pandemic or other emergency.
Ethic Guidelines- Planning processes that include careful consideration of ethical principles for disasters and emergencies in long term facilities will assist staff in responding to crisis situations from a perspective that is fair and just.
CMS emergency planning checklist—this is not required but recommended, a good resource when reviewing your plan. 

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