Hurricane Preparedness for Long-Term-Healthcare Facilities

It is especially important for long-term healthcare facilities located near the coast to prepare for a hurricane. However, all facilities need to develop some type of plan in the event of extended power outage, disruption in service, or any incident that may require evacuation. Developing a plan helps to maintain key services during a disaster for the residents. The resources below can help you get started in emergency planning for long-term healthcare facilities.
 
Many healthcare coalitions and states provide a webpage containing documents and links to assist in planning for long-term healthcare facilities. There are documents and templates to help you assess the risks your facility may face, as well as prepare and plan for emergency events.
 
As an administrator, the key to being safe during a hurricane is to plan and prepare ahead of time. Some ideas for preparing the facility and residents are:
 

Plan & Take Action

  • Everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected.
  • How will you find family members for your residents?
  • What will you do if water, gas, electricity, or phone services are shut off?

Risk Analysis

Make sure you have conducted a hazard and vulnerability assessment to identify the local risks and what steps need to be taken to minimize those risks. Develop and document plans for your specific risks.
 

Gather information

Know if your facility is in an evacuation area, and what routes are needed to evacuate your residents.
  • If the decision is made to shelter-in place (SIP) and not evacuate, inform the local emergency management office of that decision. Take into consideration the amount of food, water, and other necessary items needed for staff and residents, for the duration of the emergency event.
  • Review the FEMA Evacuation Guidelines to allow for enough time to pack and inform resident’s family or emergency contact if an evacuation is imminent.
  • Follow instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered!
  • Put together a basic supply kit for each resident including:
    • Emergency contact information for family members
    • Medications and a list of all medications (prescription and over-the-counter)
    • Nutritional needs (diabetic, renal, or other)
    • Pertinent information that others may need to know (patient health status – Alzheimer’s or other) being mindful of HIPPA requirements
  • Keep a list of contact information for reference.
    • Healthcare Facility Staff
    • Emergency Management Offices
    • Local Law Enforcement
    • Local Public Safety Fire/Rescue/EMS
    • State, County, and City/Town Government
    • Regional Healthcare Coalition
    • Local Hospitals
    • Local Utilities
    • Local American Red Cross
    • Local TV and Radio Stations for information
  • Follow guidelines to guard your residents’ health during and after the storm.
 
Review the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) health considerations before, during, and after a storm.
Remember to follow the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) food and water safety guidelines during disasters.
 
Several federal resources have been made available and are available via the following links:
State resources, including your regional healthcare coalition and state departments of health and emergency management, can typically be easily found online. We are also ready to help with any part of your plan, so reach out to us today.
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