“Because emergencies and disasters strike quickly, you might be forced to evacuate your neighborhood or be prepared to be confined to your home. What would you do if your basic services: water, gas, electricity, or communications, were cut off? Recognizing that state and regulating agencies have specific responsibilities to protect those entrusted to their facility’s care, it is incumbent upon each of us to learn how to take precautions to protect ourselves and cope with disaster by planning in advance and by working with those in our support network: family, neighbors, friends, and caregivers, as well as local responders, as a team.”
Each week week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth.Click here to download the newsletter as a .pdf file.
Click here to download the newsletter as a .pdf file.
Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security, National Preparedness Month encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities.
- Make an Emergency Plan.
- Sign up for alerts and warnings in your area.
- Learn your evacuation zone and have an evacuation plan.
- Check your insurance coverage and review the Document and Insure Property guide.
- Plan financially for the possibility of disaster.
In an email message from the US Department of Veterans Affairs Caregiver Support program, this reminder is especially relevant:
September is National Preparedness Month— a time to prepare yourself and those in your care for emergencies and disasters. Take a step toward preparedness. Create and maintain a comprehensive file of information about the person you are caring for. Whether you use an electronic format or a three-ring binder, keep the file where you can grab it quickly in an emergency or on your way out the door to an appointment.
Some items to include in a Patient File:
- Care recipient’s medical history
- Physician Contact Information
- Health history (e.g. surgeries, other medical conditions)
- Medication List
- Insurance Information (e.g., prescription, vision, dental, long-term care, etc.)
- Legal Documents
- Living Will
- Durable power of attorney for Health Care (also known as a Health Care Proxy)
- Power of Attorney for Finances
- Contact information for care recipient’s lawyer
- Contact information for relatives and close friends
The Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources Service Area 13 partners’ network likes this list a lot; in fact, the FEELING SAFE – BEING SAFE training workshop offered by the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area partners’ networks includes the same information in the planning process.
If you would like information about FEELING SAFE – BEING SAFE, contact the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area coordinator. Call or text: 717.380.9714. Email: email@example.com.
First Healthcare Compliance LLC provided this important information (the infographic below and an upcoming webinar).
“This September 19 webinar will cover essential concepts pertaining to the disaster management continuum including preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. The presentation will focus on the necessity of ‘All Hazards Planning’ and utilization of a trusted emergency management model known as the Incident Command System (ICS) as it pertains to health care facilities. The program will also include a brief overview of new CMS conditions of participation regarding emergency preparedness.”
FREE FEMA online training: “IS-100.HCB: Introduction to the Incident Command System (ICS 100) for Healthcare/Hospitals”
A really comprehensive list of FREE FEMA online courses for everyone.
By now you’ve seen this image from the flooding in Texas.
The 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):
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several months ago, this site asked for volunteers for an emergency sheltering exercise; yesterday the Keystone 6 exercise became reality.
Everyone of us needs to know about life’s uncertainties, and the best way to grapple with uncertainty is to have a plan and to practice the plan.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMAs) “Plan & Prepare Webpage – This section of the site provides information on how you can plan and prepare to protect your family, property, and community from natural and manmade disasters is a start.
There are other resources right here at the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources | Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area Website.
- We offer a 2 hour emergency preparedness planning workshop for FREE. The workshop, FEELING SAFE – BEING SAFE, provides tips and resources to help anyone develop a personal plan for emergency situations.
“(Department of Homeland Security) DHS ANNOUNCES FY 2017 PREPAREDNESS GRANTS” – Administration for Community Living
“Grant programs address national security; public safety needs”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced ten preparedness grant programs totaling $1.6 billion. The grant programs provide funding to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as transportation authorities, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector, to improve the nation’s readiness in preventing, protecting against, responding to, recovering from and mitigating terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies.
Because older adults and people with disabilities will be affected by the programs and systems developed through these grants, ACL encourages all of the aging and disability partners to learn more about their state, tribal, or local efforts to secure this funding, and to get involved to ensure the people we serve are represented in these efforts.
The Notices of Funding Opportunity for these grants can be found at https://www.fema.gov/preparedness-non-disaster-grants (expand the last link on the page. Further information can be found on www.grants.gov.
“Nursing homes and hospice providers face looming emergency preparedness deadline” – Modern Healthcare
by Steven Ross Johnson
“After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Amedisys decided it needed to upgrade its disaster plan. The national home healthcare and hospice provider began conducting risk analysis and factoring in local potential hazards to develop a plan to ensure staff and residents at its U.S. facilities could weather natural disasters. From this came several changes: greater coordination with first responders, regular drills and closer collaboration with other Medicare providers.
“The plan, which calls for sending disaster response teams to check in on patients at home and bringing them food, water and cleaning supplies, was implemented during last year’s floods in Louisiana. The plan helped keep Amedisys staff and residents safe.
“But now Amedisys and other providers like it are being asked to step up their efforts. Many of the nation’s healthcare providers are facing a deadline to implement new federal requirements that standardize how they handle natural disasters and terrorists’ threats.
“In September, the CMS finalized a rule requiring 17 types of healthcare providers to set new policies that result in better coordination with emergency personnel and frequent tests and adaptations of emergency plans.
“While most experts support the regulations, others worry that many facilities, … ”
“Extreme Heat Message and Precautions | Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, Get Involved” – Administration for Community Living
Summer is almost here. While we prepare to enjoy the warm weather, it’s important to take precautions in case extreme heat strikes.
By evaluating your needs, you can plan for any heat related situation.
The following steps will prepare you to handle periods of extreme heat and the associated risks:
- Consider how potential power outages during periods of extreme heat might affect you. Plan to be temporarily self-sufficient if the electricity goes out. It’s possible that you will not have access to a medical facility or a pharmacy.
- Identify the resources you use on a daily basis and what you can do if they are limited or not available. Make provisions for medications that require refrigeration, and plan arrangements to get to a cooling center, if needed.
- Think about what you need to maintain your health, safety, and independence. Build A Kit that includes any specialized items such as extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, and medication. Also include non-perishable food and water, items for service animals and pets, a cooler, and anything else you might need.
- Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, especially those who spend much of their time alone, or are more likely to be affected by extreme heat.
- Be watchful for signs of heat stroke and dehydration. These include shallow breathing, a lack of perspiration, dizziness, dry mouth, and headaches.
The HHS emPOWER Map 2.0 features the monthly total of Medicare beneficiaries with electricity-dependent equipment claims at the U.S. state, territory, county, and zip code level to identify the areas and populations that may be impacted and at risk for prolonged power outages.
SOURCE: Administration for Community Living
Volunteer Actors Needed for Keystone 6 Exercise!
Tuesday, August 15, 10am-1pm | Lunch provided
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is sponsoring an exercise and we need volunteers! This exercise is called Keystone 6 and is focused on mass care and sheltering during a large-scale disaster. The scenario is based on a large nuclear explosion in New Jersey that drives people to evacuate into Pennsylvania. We are testing our capabilities for opening state managed shelters at both Penn State University’s Harrisburg campus (Middletown) and Shippensburg University.
To see how we might accomplish this, we need people to serve as actors and go through the registration process at the shelter locations, as an evacuee might. We hope to have people with disabilities or other access and functional needs participate so we can practice how we would meet these needs in a real situation.
We promise you do not have to sleep on a cot! Lunch will be provided and you will also be provided information to assist you in forming your own emergency preparedness plan. No reimbursement is available for travel or time.
We need your help so we can best plan for the needs of all Pennsylvanians!
Interested individuals please contact Christine Heyser at email@example.com or 717-461-0389 with the following information:
- Preferred location: PSU Harrisburg or Shippensburg
- Special dietary needs for lunch, if any
- Optional: If you are a person with a disability or other access or functional need, would you be willing to briefly describe the need(s)?