“This will never happen here.”

By now you’ve seen this image from the flooding in Texas.

nursing homeThe Galveston County Daily News article is here: “18 people rescued from flooded assisted living facility.”

You’ve also heard the phrase: Prepare for those events that are “never gonna’ happen.”

Flooding can happen along any body of water. “Flooding is the most frequent and damaging natural disaster that occurs throughout the Commonwealth. Many of Pennsylvania’s communities are located along waterways,” according to Pennsylvania’s Hazard Vulnerability Analysis.

Hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding can happen almost anywhere – but especially along the southern coasts of the country.

Several months ago, we posted this article here: “Nursing homes and hospice providers face looming emergency preparedness deadline” – Modern Healthcare

“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers Final Rule to establish consistent emergency preparedness requirements for healthcare providers participating in Medicare and Medicaid, increase patient safety during emergencies, and establish a more coordinated response to natural and human-caused disasters.

“This rule applies to 17 provider and supplier types as a condition of participation for CMS. The providers/suppliers are required to meet four core elements (with specific requirements adjusted based on the individual characteristics of each provider and supplier):

  1. Emergency plan — Develop an emergency plan based on a risk assessment and using an “all-hazards” approach, which will provide an integrated system for emergency planning that focuses on capacities and capabilities.
  2. Policies and procedures — Develop and implement policies and procedures based on the emergency plan and risk assessment that are reviewed and updated at least annually. For hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), and Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities, the policies and procedures must address the provision of subsistence needs, such as food, water and medical supplies, for staff and residents, whether they evacuate or shelter in place.
  3. Communication plan — Develop and maintain an emergency preparedness communication plan that complies with federal, state and local laws. Patient care must be coordinated within the facility, across healthcare providers, and with state and local public health departments and emergency management systems to protect patient health and safety in the event of a disaster.
  4. A training and testing program — Develop and maintain training and testing programs, including initial training in policies and procedures. Facility staff will have to demonstrate knowledge of emergency procedures and provide training at least annually. Facilities must conduct drills and exercises to test the emergency plan or participate in an actual incident that tests the plan.”

Click here to read the complete document: “CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule: Resources at Your Fingertips.”

Want more information about developing emergency preparedness planning postures for your facility or individual preparedness planning for persons you work with? Contact  the Link coordinator. Call / text 717.380.9714 or email blllink@mail.com.

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