Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hurricane Preparedness Week

Though much of the Northeast United States is still reeling from the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy last fall, it is time again to prepare for hurricane season. This week marks Public Health Emergency's (PHE) Hurricane Preparedness Week 2013.

While it is always important to have disaster plans in place, long term and post-acute care facilities face special challenges when preparing for emergencies. With a few simple steps to get started, each facility can begin to build a plan that will best protect its staff, caregivers, and residents. AHCA continues to monitor the latest developments in emergency preparedness and will provide resources, guides, and insight to disaster prep.  For all of AHCA's disaster resources, please visit our website.

Hurricane Preparedness Steps: 
The following steps come from PHE's website. They are designed for the general public, but the steps here create a strong foundation for any emergency preparedness plan.

  1. Make a Plan: Be sure your staff know and understand how to execute emergency plans.
  2. Learn to Evacuate Safely: To what facility will your residents be transferred?  Do you have supplies to care for them in the event of a facility evacuation?
  3. Get Your Phone Ready for Hurricane Season: Have emergency contact numbers clearly posted in a visible spot.
  4. Have a Plan for Power Outage: With technologically advanced medical equipment comes a dependency on power sources. Be sure your facility has proper back ups, such as oxygen concentrators, etc.
  5. Prepare for Mental Health Needs: Disasters certainly cause stress and potentially emotionally trauma. Be prepared to address these needs for your staff, residents, and family members.
  6. Join the Public Health Response: Learn how to get involved in your community.

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