Getting Ready for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season begins today.  Even if your facility is not in a hurricane area, now is still a good time to update your emergency preparedness plan. Please take time to review your facility’s Emergency Preparedness Plan and update it as necessary.  A series of documents and resources are available on VHCA’s website to assist you.  In addition, AHCA has suggested the following questions to consider when updating your plan:

  • Does it have the correct names, titles, or phone numbers? If you have had any personnel changes during the year make sure the plan and all copies reflect the change.
  • Do you have a list of essential personnel that are needed at the time of an event? Does your staff know who is considered essential?
  • Have you surveyed the staff to see who will volunteer during an emergency, do you have a place for them to sleep, can they bring their kids or pets? How will you feed the staff? Where will the pets stay?
  • Do you have backup phone numbers for your contractors?
  • Do you have a backup plan for laundry services, electronic medical records, trash removal, etc?
  • Do you have an identified command center—does this command center have emergency power?
  • Does the staff know where the command center is?
  • Do you have flash lights for all staff and batteries?
  • Does staff know what is in the emergency plan or the location of the plans?

Other resources on AHCA’s disaster planning website include AHCA’s Nursing Home Incident Command System that can work in conjunction with your emergency preparedness plan, and CMS’s recommended checklist for nursing facilities.