EM Plans for Many Nursing Homes Are Badly Flawed – update May 10

Logo of the United States Department of Health...

Logo of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Today the NYTimes featured an article titled: EM Plans for Many Nursing Homes are Flawed. May 10th.

Previous Posting on this Topic:

Big gaps found in nursing homes’ plan to protect frail residents in event of natural disasters. Washington Post article, April 15th. Some excerpts follow:

Tornado, hurricane or flood, nursing homes are woefully unprepared to protect frail residents in a natural disaster, government investigators say. Emergency plans required by the government often lack specific steps such as coordinating with local authorities, notifying relatives or even pinning name tags and medication lists to residents in an evacuation, according to the findings. That means the plans may not be worth the paper they’re written on.

Nearly seven years after Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans exposed the vulnerability of nursing homes, serious shortcomings persist. “We identified many of the same gaps in nursing home preparedness and response,” investigators from the inspector general’s office of the Health and Human Services Department wrote in the report being released Monday. “Emergency plans lacked relevant information. … Nursing homes faced challenges with unreliable transportation contracts, lack of collaboration with local emergency management, and residents who developed health problems.”

The link to the full ( 44 page ) DHS report is here.

An interesting aside is that the report lists the Top Ten States with the most disaster declarations: they are:  Texas, California, Oklahoma, New York, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Missouri.  If one of them is yours, now is the time for some action!

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