Category Archives: Emergency Preparedness

Is your team prepared? Here’s important information for all healthcare professionals.

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.”

disaster-respon healthcare workersMore information about disaster preparedness:

“This will never happen here.”

“For those unexpected incidents – it’s better to have a plan. Do you have a plan?”

“FEELING SAFE – BEING SAFE”

FEMA – The Federal Emergency Management Agency

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.

“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.

For those unexpected incidents – it’s better to have a plan. Do you have a plan?

Keystone 6

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.

FSBS cover

 

“(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, … ”

Continue reading this article at Modern Healthcare, click here.

“Extreme Heat Message and Precautions | Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, Get Involved” – Administration for Community Living

go kit

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.

For more information about extreme heat preparedness and tools, go to ready.gov/heat and cdc.gov.

SOURCE: Administration for Community Living

Volunteer Actors Needed for Keystone 6 Exercise!

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 cheyser@pa.gov  or 717-461-0389 with the following information:

  1. Name
  2. Preferred location: PSU Harrisburg or Shippensburg
  3. Special dietary needs for lunch, if any
  4. 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)?

“How prepared is your state (Pennsylvania) for a health emergency?” – STATNews Morning Rounds

health emergency

“A new assessment of the nation’s preparedness for a community health emergency paints a picture of deep regional disparities. The National Health Preparedness Index ranks countries and regions on a scale of how prepared they are to deal with a health security threat, like a Zika outbreak or a natural disaster. It takes into account everything from vaccination rates, to hazard plans at public schools, to the number of paramedics and hospitals available. Nationally, the US scores 6.8 on the 10-point scale; Vermont, at the top of the list, received a 7.8 for its health emergency preparedness while Alaska, sitting at the bottom, received a 5.9. The authors of the new report say it highlights where more work is urgently needed to prepare for an emergency.” – SOURCE: STATnews Morning Rounds

Governor Wolf Announces Emergency Proclamation, Travel Restrictions Ahead of Winter Storm

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency in anticipation of a significant winter snowstorm that will impact the state starting Monday evening through late Tuesday, and announced PennDOT and the Turnpike will restrict speeds on interstates and some large commercial vehicular travel. Governor Wolf also announced that PennDOT will strategically deploy additional assets to areas expected to be hardest hit by the storm, including the Northeast, Poconos and Lehigh Valley.

Governor Wolf and state agencies will provide an update on preparations for the impending winter storm at 3:30 p.m. today. The briefing will streamed live at https://governor.pa.gov/live/ or https://www.facebook.com/governorwolf/.

“State agencies continue to take proactive steps to ensure Pennsylvania is ready for the incoming winter weather and Pennsylvanians should take their own precautions and prepare for adverse conditions, especially for travel,” Governor Wolf said. “We are preparing for the most significant part of the storm to hit the Eastern half of the state from Monday night through Tuesday’s commute with significant winds to follow and cause additional concerns. I ask residents and commercial drivers across the commonwealth to prepare to avoid unnecessary travel on roadways during this time – as to let road crews and emergency responders do their jobs and minimize dangerous travel.”

This proclamation is not a ‘state of emergency,’ as it does not prohibit vehicular travel on commonwealth roads, but motorists are strongly encouraged to delay all unnecessary travel and heed local road closures that may be in place. A proclamation ensures emergency resources can be procured as needed and increases protections for consumers from price-gouging.

Travel Restrictions and PennDOT Resources

To help PennDOT and PA Turnpike crews get the optimum access to the interstates and expressways during the storm, beginning at 10 p.m. Monday, these restrictions will be in place on all interstates and expressways east of Interstate 99 and including Interstate 99:

  • 45 mph speed limit
  • Ban on tandem truck trailers, empty trailers, towed trailers, buses, recreational vehicles and motorcycles.

These restrictions will be in place on Interstates 70, 76, 78, 80, 81, 83, 84, 283, 176, 180, 476, 380 and all expressways not on the interstate system. The Turnpike will have the same restrictions beginning at 10 p.m. Monday from the Bedford Interchange east to NJ and on the entire Northeastern extension. PennDOT is also cancelling all superload permits for movement on Tuesday.

PennDOT has 4,800 equipment operators, more than 2,000 plow trucks, 49 snow blowers. All of PennDOT’s 11 regions will go on round-the-clock duty beginning Monday evening. PennDOT’s goal is to keep roadways passable and interstates and expressways take priority over lower volume routes.

PennDOT will also be redeploying assets to eastern Pennsylvania, where the brunt of the storm is forecast to hit. Three Mobile Equipment Teams will be dispatched. Each team consists of five plow trucks, 10 equipment operators and one supervisor. Teams are being dispatched from PennDOT’s northwestern Pennsylvania district to the Scranton area, from the Pittsburgh area district to Monroe County near Stroudsburg and from southwestern Pennsylvania to the Lehigh Valley area.

Proclamation of Disaster Emergency Impacts

The proclamation authorizes state agencies to use all available resources and personnel, as necessary, to cope with the magnitude and severity of this emergency situation. The time-consuming bidding and contract procedures, as well as other formalities normally prescribed by law, are waived for the duration of the proclamation.

In addition, the proclamation authorizes the Department of Transportation to waive regulations related to drivers of commercial vehicles in order to ensure the timely movement of commodities, particularly food and home heating fuel.

It also provides consumer protections against price gouging by prohibiting companies from charging a price for consumer goods or services that exceeds 20 percent of the average price that the consumer goods or services were sold for in the 7 days preceding the effective date of the Governor’s proclamation.

In the event travel is absolutely necessary, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles by visiting http://www.511PA.com. PennDOT’s Automated Vehicle Locator plow tracking tool is available for all of the more than 2,200 PennDOT-owned and rented plow trucks, with vehicle locations viewable on 511PA.

SOURCE: news release

Friday Wrap-Up, February 10 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

This week’s Wrap-Up includes an impassioned lead article from the Secretary about her own take-aways following the Super Bowl and “tragic fire incidents that involve senior citizens.” Be sure to read the newsletter.

friday wrap-up 03-11-16Each 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 February 10 newsletter.