Preparing for The Unexpected

Earlier this year, Texas faced a significant crisis and power outages due to winter storms, resulting in food, water, and heat shortages. This tragic event brings to light the importance of preparation and emergency preparedness plans for your residential assisted living homes. Here are some things to consider.

Owning and operating an assisted living home requires that you recognize the importance of being prepared to handle any situation.

Creating an emergency preparedness relief plan is critical for a successful senior living business, which means you’ll need to train your staff in case of emergencies properly.

The assisted living industry learned a lot from recent disasters in Texas.

Information about disaster relief is available at
http://www.feedingtexas.org/solutions/disaster-response-and-recovery/.

What is an Emergency Preparedness Plan?

An emergency preparedness plan defines the action requirements for staff, residents, and visitors should an unforeseen incident occur.

Preparedness plans enable all parties to navigate to safety during a crisis.

How do you know if your residential assisted living home is maintaining preparedness? If you do not have trained people and a certified plan in place, your business is not prepared.

If you do not have an action plan for safety, then your inaction can lead to disaster.

Safety must always remain the leading priority when caring for seniors.

In the event of a flood or fire, ensure your senior resident’s safety.

An emergency preparedness plan is not just about peace of mind; it saves lives, prevents unnecessary injuries, and keeps a home running efficiently.

Depending on the depth of the disaster, a plan enables you to become operational again much quicker.

What efficient, professional, and proven tips can a senior living home use to prepare for emergencies?

SIX STEPS TO CREATING A EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN FOR SENIOR HOUSING

  1. Consider using an emergency response template
    Use this Department of Homeland Security emergency response plan template to help start your plan.
  2. Do a Risk Assessment
    Routinely check for blocked emergency exits, broken windows or doors, and fallen debris. Create a safety assessment plan to clean up, fix, and update your home regularly.
  3. Follow Current Laws
    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has laws to protect residents and employees during emergencies – know the local laws.
  4. Recognize the Common Disasters That Typically Occur Near You
    Understand what your region is prone to experience, from ice storms, tornadoes, or flooding? Beyond the more obvious risks, FEMA also recommends creating a general preparedness plan.
  5. Write Your Emergency Response Plan
    Your written plan should include shelter in place information, evacuation procedures, communication strategies, and so much more based on your assessment and local laws. Your written plan should also be accessible to all employees.
  6. Practice Your Emergency Plan
    Executing your plan is vital, which means you’ll need to conduct emergency drills to practice, prepare, and plan for when disaster hits.

VARIOUS DISASTERS THAT DEMAND PREPARATION IN ASSISTED LIVING

Unforeseen disasters impact residential assisted living homes across the country. An emergency preparedness plan can save lives.

Based on your national location, you may experience:

  • Earthquake
  • Wildfire
  • Hurricane, tornado, torrential rain, or unrelenting snow
  • Avalanche
  • Landslide
  • Infectious diseases
  • Food or water-born contamination
  • Power-grid failure
  • Massive urban fire
  • Hazardous materials release
  • Transportation incidents
  • Communications failure
  • Civil disturbance
  • Terrorism – including nuclear, chemical, biological, or explosive

Instead of scrambling to keep your residential assisted living home operational during a disaster, it’s essential to prepare.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLANS FOR RESIDENTIAL ASSISTED LIVING

Are your caregivers and staff prepared to save your residents during a disaster? One of the best ways to prepare is to contract experts to train your employees.

You risk a high cost of not being prepared due to criminal negligence and wrongful death suits.

Take no chances when providing quality care for seniors in your residential assisted living home; there are three steps you can start with:

  1. Stay in compliance with federal regulations
  2. Conduct in-person training with practice drills
  3. Create a preparation plan for fires, natural disasters, and pandemics

Extensive information is available online, but your emergency plan should not be a culmination of fragments pieced together.

Take this plan seriously – it could be a matter of life and death.

CONDUCTING SCENARIO EXERCISES

Reinforce emergency weather plans that reevaluate necessary steps every year for effectiveness.

It’s also essential to check for improvements and make changes as needed.

Planning and conducting annual checks eliminates gaps in safety precautions.

  • Ensure that the entire organization is aware of protocols and procedures
  • Develop a compliance checklist
  • Take photos as proof of inventory
  • Preserve confidential data with cloud-based solutions
  • Communicate emergency plans to your staff
  • Set recovery goals to maintain morale
  • Update your business continuity plan

THE BENEFIT OF NETWORKING AND CONSULTING WITH PARTNERS

The Residential Assisted Living National Association provides information to help owners and operators maintain quality care homes for seniors. Partnering with the national association is a critical component in industry success. Membership is free. When preparing for the unexpected, a solid and effective emergency preparedness plan should be considered.

Receive industry updates, discount group purchasing, informational blogs, newsletters, and legal support when you register for your free membership.

Visit www.RALNA.com to learn everything you need to know about keeping seniors safe.

Take Your Impact to the Next Level

Get access to resources that help you fill your home fast and elevate standards of care while growing a profitable and sustainable business. You are not alone in your quest to help others!