If you run a senior living facility, group home, nursing facility, or long term acute care facility, you know the importance of being prepared for any type of situation. Your residents are important to you, and making sure they are taken care of and are safe is your number one priority. Your facility no doubt has their physical and mental health needs all met and you are more than likely prepared should a health emergency arise. But what if your facility gets hit by a major flood or fire? Do you have a plan in place to ensure your senior resident’s safety.
Having an emergency preparedness plan in place before an emergency strikes will not only save you time, money, and heartache in the long run, but it will also provide you, your residents, and their families peace of mind. It will also prevent injury and death, and help get your facility up and running again in a shorter time period than if you hadn’t prepared. Follow these tips to create an emergency preparedness plan that is right for you.
What is an Emergency Preparedness Plan?
An emergency preparedness plan is a plan of action designed to help you, your staff, your residents, visitors, and others safely navigate through an emergency. If you don’t currently have people on your staff who are certified and trained in how to act during an emergency, then your facility is not prepared. The good news is, with some time, dedication, and a little help from a disaster response company like Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration, you can be.
What Types of Disasters Should You Prepare For?
There are many unforeseen disasters that could occur and affect your assisted living facility. It’s important to be aware of them all and know what you would do. Based on your location in Billings, MT, and the surrounding areas, you may experience:
- Hurricane, tornado, torrential rain, or unrelenting snow
- 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
How Do You Write an Emergency Response Plan for Your Senior Living Facility?
Download a severe weather plan template.
Use this emergency response plan template from the Dept. of Homeland Security to help you start your plan.
Do a risk assessment.
Conduct regularly scheduled assessments around your facility. Walk around the property with your staff (or appointed safety captains from your staff), training them on what to look out for. This includes blocked emergency escape routes, broken windows or doors, and fallen debris. Make sure to clean up, fix, and update your building on a regular basis to ensure everyone’s safety.
Follow the laws of the land.
Make sure you know the local laws, as they may vary from state to state. Did you know OSHA requires facilities with more than 10 employees to have a written emergency plan? For smaller companies, they say sharing emergency plans verbally is enough – however, it is recommended to have everything written down and documented, no matter what your business’s size. Work with a professional emergency preparedness company like Alpha Omega to help you understand complicated OSHA regulations, like 29 CFR 1910 series of documents.
Know the most common natural disasters near you.
This goes back to what we mentioned earlier about doing a risk assessment. Is your area prone to ice storms? Tornadoes? Localized flooding? Beyond the more obvious risks, FEMA also recommends creating a general preparedness plan for other events that are more unexpected.
Write your emergency response plan.
Based on your assessment, the local laws, and the emergency response plan template, you should have a solid base on where to start. Your plan should include as much information as possible when it comes to safety. Where will people shelter-in-place? What’s the evacuation route? Who is going to ensure the safety of all of your residents? How will you communicate with everyone in your facility and on the property–as well as emergency contacts–when the disaster happens? Once filled out, make copies of your plan, and place it on every floor so it’s accessible to all of your employees, especially during an emergency situation.
Practice your emergency plan.
It’s important that everyone understands how to execute your plan, because when disaster strikes, the first instinct most people will have is panic. Assign employees important roles and make sure that everyone knows exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. Conduct emergency drills multiple times a year to increase employee confidence and understanding so that if a natural disaster hits, they will be able to follow the plan in a calm and quick way.
What Alpha Omega’s Emergency Preparedness Plan Will Do For You and Your Assisted Living Facility
Alpha Omega can create a custom emergency response plan for your facility. We provide free consultations to get you started. Our team knows all of the unique challenges you may face in a crisis, as well as local and state laws and OSHA guidelines. We know how complicated federal regulations can be, but we will ensure that your facility meets all of the standards, starting with helping to create your emergency response plan. If you partner with us on a contract-basis, we will also provide:
- Priority Disaster Response Service 24/7/365
- High-priority status in the event of community-wide emergencies such as storm surges and freezing weather.
- Pre-Planning Aid
- Inspections and estimates are completely free, no matter how small or large the problem is.
- Discounted Services & Up-front Pricing
- Transparency on pricing so that you never have to be surprised. Discounted services include mitigation and disinfection/cleaning.
Ready to Partner with Alpha Omega for Their Emergency Preparedness Program?
Contact Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration. With 24/7 emergency response availability for your senior living facility, we are there for you to help assess the situation, mitigate the damage, and make a plan to restore your property back to pre-loss condition. We will help you recover from commercial fire damage, water damage, or other disasters. Our professional team of certified, trained, and trusted advisors are experts in the fire damage restoration industry. We will oversee your property’s damage recovery with honest, reliable, high-quality work so your tenants can go back to their normal lives, quickly.
Alpha Omega is the leading disaster restoration company serving commercial and residential properties in Billings, MT and surrounding areas.