All long term care facilities require an Emergency Operation Plan to be in place. This plan can help in many situations, including natural disasters, utility failures, missing residents, etc. Making this plan can be challenging but there are a few steps that can be taken to assist in creating it.
Collaborate with local emergency agencies
Working with these agencies prior to an emergency, it will become a more seamless process with a plan already in place on both ends.
Conduct a Hazard Vulnerability Assessment (HVA)
Hazards are different for each community and completing an assessment can help determine which emergency actions are best.
Provide direction to ensure the staff can make critical decisions
Employees must have a clear information on when certain actions must be taken, especially in the case of evacuations.
Include both shelter-in-place and evacuation plans
This not only includes provisions for care, but also transportation, food, medications, etc.
Create a communication infrastructure contingency plan
There should always be a plan in place should telephones experience an outage.
While the plan itself is critical, training is also a factor in ensuring that everything runs smoothly in the case of an emergency. Every employee should be in the know when it comes to emergency preparedness.
The official checklist is available here. Below is the summary of the checklist items for a quick look.
- Develop Emergency Plan
- All Hazards Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan
- Collaborate with Local Emergency Management Agency
- Analyze Each Hazard
- Collaborate with Suppliers/Providers
- Decision Criteria for Executing Plan
- Communication Infrastructure Contingency
- Develop Shelter-in-Place Plan
- Develop Evacuation Plan
- Transportation & Other Vendors
- Train Transportation Vendors/Volunteers
- Facility Reentry Plan
- Residents & Family Members
- Resident Identification
- Trained Facility Staff Members
- Informed Residents & Patients
- Needed Provisions
- Location of Evacuated Residents
- Helping Residents in the Relocation
- Review Emergency Plan
- Emergency Planning Templates
- Collaboration with Local Emergency Management Agencies and Healthcare Coalitions
- Communication with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
- Conduct Exercises & Drills
- Loss of Resident’s Personal Effects
Creating an emergency plan is a process that, when completed correctly, will ensure that everyone is prepared for whatever may come up. This article should help in getting the plan of action started by walking through the steps in implementation.