Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Guidance on Fires from Past, Help for Future

Back in 2008, a post on AHCA/NCAL’s Disaster Planning blog talked about California wildfires, and the article could have been written this month. The column said, “The threat of a wildfire is a reality for facilities. Smoke can cause very low air quality, which is dangerous for elderly individuals.” The piece went on to offer some suggestions to keep residents and staff alike safe during such a disaster:
  • Avoid outdoor activities, especially for those with respiratory problems.
  • Keep windows and doors closed as much as possible, and use the recycle or recirculate mode on your facility air conditioner.
  • Avoid the use of non-HEPA paper face mask filters, which are not capable of filtering extra-fine particles.
  • If you must evacuate, ensure that your residents drink lots of water and breathe through a warm, wet washcloth if needed.
Members can access the Disaster Planning blog at https://www.ahcancal.org/facility_operations/disaster_planning/blog.

For those who want to help those in the long term care community affected by the recent California fires, fundraising campaigns have been established to help victims. The California Association of Health Facilities has posted links to these at www.cahf.org/Resources/Help-the-Long-Term-Care-Fire-Victims.

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