Unfortunately, during a major weather event, and we had many last year, nursing homes can be seriously affected. Storms, like Hurricane Harvey, can result in major evacuations to other areas of the state. Two nursing homes filled with 184 residents were flooded with nearly a foot of water. The fact that they were not properly prepared for a disaster of this proportion only increases their need for insurance for nursing homes to help with repairs in the aftermath.
Disaster planning is vital to survival
Disaster plans should be reviewed each and every year, and drills practiced on a regular basis. The plan should include verification of the evacuation shelter with which the nursing home contracts. When evaluating a shelter, or other facility, for evacuation, keep in mind that several rooms may be necessary for housing the staff and their children.
Many residents won’t be ambulatory and there is the threat that buildings may collapse. Expediting the removal of those who can’t get around on their own can be crucial in avoiding further injuries or deaths from occurring.
When there is advance notice of a disaster, extra medications and supplies should be ordered and organized. Proper storage of insulin and other refrigerator medications is critical, using necessary checklists.
Large equipment should be sent ahead of the buses with residents. Proper loading of equipment onto the buses is essential, since equipment necessary for use on arrival should be loaded last (medication carts, oxygen tanks, etc.).
Have emergency supplies on hand
Emergency supplies should always be kept separate from regular supplies and regularly inspected. A provider for the facility should be chosen that maintains backup electronic pharmacy records in a separate geographic location, which will enable access to vital information during, or after the disaster.
Emergency kits for each bus should be prepared in advance. A staff person should be designated to direct activities. Some staff should stay behind to close up the facility and to be there to reopen it prior to residents returning after the disaster. In difficult times such as these, it’s important to remain calm. There will be plenty of issues to address, but in the end, making certain your clients all have insurance for nursing homes should be first and foremost.