Assisted Livings- are a place where families can take loved ones to be cared for and nurtured. Families trust that their elderly family member will be provided with the best care and living conditions. That is why it is vital for a facility to have an emergency plan in place. It is never "if" an emergency will happen, it is "when" an emergency will occur. All healthcare facilities are required to have some type of plan in place. However, should an emergency arise, can the program be put into motion? Plans should be available to all team members. It is important for team members to be trained appropriately on protocol and how to implement the plan. Having the knowledge of what to do when an emergency happens is essential when for the plan's success.A good emergency plan can save lives and money.
What should be included in an Emergency Plan?
A Detailed Floor Plan of the facility.A detailed floor plan is important when emergency and restoration crews come into a facility. The First Responders entering a facility need to be aware of all exits, hallways, windows, and many more items that only a floor plan can uncover. When a floor plan is in place for First Responders, everyone knows the best route for assisting residents out of the building.
Protocol Information for Water and Electrical.It is important for facilities to have a listing of where these switches are located and how to turn these switches off. Employees should know these protocols in the event of an emergency. A problem occurs when team members do not know where these are found. It is essential that the protocols are readily available when needed.
Staging areas are also a necessary part of a plan.A staging area allows rescue crews and restoration crews to know where the best place for equipment is. It is best to plan on multiple staging areas if you have a larger facility. In the case of several healthcare facilities, buildings are typically larger and will need to prepare various staging areas. Tag Key Items are an essential part of a facility walk-through is the mapping and tagging of the building. The company putting together the emergency plan will want to note the items that are a priority when an emergency occurs. Valuable items could include personal details, high-value paintings, etc. New things that need to be tagged would consist of hazardous materials, the different units of your building (ex. special care unit), and other significant areas. Each property will have different items that are more important than others. It is important to inspect your building with a restoration professional. Assisted Livings and other healthcare facilities face different threats while in operation. Hazards can be influenced by the location of the Assisted Living or internal factors. Each facility should have a risk assessment to determine the probability of these events happening.
Potential threats that could occur are listed below:
- Natural Hazards- Thunderstorms, tornadoes, high winds, etc. Technological Hazards- Electrical failure, flooding, hazmat exposure/ failure, and etc. Human Hazards- Elopement (wandering residents), threats against the facility, and etc. Hazardous Materials- Toxic/ Chemical spills (small or large), leak of harmful gases, and hazmat situations.