Disaster Preparedness

Beware of portable electric space heaters in LTC

Each year, hundreds of people die in fires caused by heating equipment, including portable space heaters, according to the National Fire Protection Association. While prohibited in smoke compartments where residents are present in skilled nursing facilities, portable electric space heaters continue to find their way into LTC facilities of all types. Read More »

Assisted living census grows in aftermath of Superstorm Sandy

When tidal surges and flood waters from Superstorm Sandy damaged or completely washed away homes this past November, many independent, elderly homeowners began to rethink their housing and safety options. Read More »

Tragedy in Connecticut reinforces need to protect vulnerable populations

Safety and security is a matter that every type of LTC facility should take very seriously. Assuming that seniors are immune from the type of violence that was witnessed at Sandy Hook Elementary School is a mistake. Read More »

Prepare for disaster before disaster strikes

Creating a detailed emergency response plan—and keeping it updated—is crucial to safeguarding your organization’s residents, staff and property. These disaster planning checklists can help you manage risk and keep your staff ready for anything. Read More »

Remembering your community’s first responders this holiday season

I challenge LTC providers to think of creative ways to develop solid and meaningful relationships with their community’s first responders and providers of other essential services that will be mutually beneficial in good times as well as bad times. Read More »

Recovering from disaster in long-term care

A good percentage of disaster management is “getting your ducks in a row.” Most of this involves establishing appropriate relationships that may be premised on contacts, formalized agreements and memorandums of understanding with vendors of essential services and other facilities that may be needed to provide evacuation and relocation assistance during the disaster recovery phase. Read More »

Prescriptions for disaster

During health emergencies and disasters, two resources can play important roles in keeping seniors and their medications connected. Read More »

Blanket waivers issued for New York and New Jersey in Hurricane Sandy’s wake

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has granted blanket waivers for New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, easing the regulations required of long-term care and other health providers. Read More »

CMS: Waiver status issued for New York state in Sandy’s wake

An emergency response meeting held by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services answers some questions on coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York, but many issues remain for long-term and acute care facilities in other states. Read More »

HHS waives Medicare, Medicaid requirements for NYC facilities affected by hurricane

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today declared a public health emergency for New York City. This declaration allows HHS to waive or modify certain Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program requirements. Read More »

NYC nursing homes struggle in wake of Hurricane Sandy

Several nursing homes in the Rockaways area of New York City, which were heavily impacted by Hurricane Sandy, struggled with flooding and damaged generators, according to a report in The New York Times. Read More »

Hurricane Sandy releases fury on east coast; LTC facilities evacuate

Updated 11:05 p.m. Thousands of LTC facilities evacuate the coastline from Maryland to New York as Hurricane Sandy sets her sights on inland states. Read More »

5 tips to keep emergency generators performing in LTC facilities

The danger of complacency and not performing the necessary “due diligence” as it relates to the installation and maintenance of your facility’s generator(s) and emergency power systems can lead to catastrophic failures. Here are five tips to help ensure that your emergency power system performs to its maximum potential at all times. Read More »

Nursing homes in Hurricane Sandy’s path…This is not a drill

A full moon, high tides and colliding storm systems are conspiring to create a “perfect storm” that will bear down on the East Coast next week. Long-term care facilities should initiate their disaster plans now. Read More »

Crisis? Don’t cringe; be prepared

Crisis communications doesn’t have to make you cringe. If you plan accordingly and understand how to protect your reputation in a crisis, you can successfully navigate the situation and avoid the potentially negative impact an unexpected event could have on your long-term care organization. Read More »

Business continuity planning starts with safety at home

Planning for an emergency at your LTC facility must start at home so your organization can help protect one of its most valuable resources--employees and their families. Read More »

Disaster Recovery Requires Pre-Planning

Planning for the unexpected means forming a clear plan of action and knowing who to call when disaster strikes. Read More »

Nursing homes, hospitals brace for Isaac

Here comes Isaac: Gulf Coast facilities prepare for the storm with lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina Read More »

Review and update LTC emergency plans with operational changes

When operational changes occur, it is critical to review and update your community’s emergency plans to help ensure that the changes have been incorporated into these essential documents. Read More »

Are LTC settings prepared to deal with emergencies? The Office of Inspector General (OIG) thinks not.

Fire, flood, tornado, earthquake and tidal waves are just a few of the ways nature asserts itself to remind us of its power. Are you prepared to care and protect your residents if you get in Mother Nature’s way? The OIG doesn’t think so according to a recent study. Read More »

The first 24 hours: Best practices for response to serious incidents

While not every prospective adverse event can be mapped out with anticipated responses and scenarios, there are steps owners and providers can take, especially in the first 24 hours after a serious event, to better protect residents, their families and employees. Read More »

AARP launches online personal health record

AARP and Microsoft Corp. have teamed up to offer a free online health record to AARP’s 40+ million members. The tool gives residents and their family members a single online repository for vital health information, and it will assist those who are designated caregivers of loved ones. Read More »

Long-Term Living wins Gold Award for best online news coverage

The top award from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Edi, one of four awards Long-Term Living received for 2011 content, recognized its journalistic achievement for the story “Hurricane Irene Tests Healthcare Disaster Response Plans.” Read More »

Disaster readiness is still an issue, OIG reports

Despite the estimated 92 percent of the nation’s 16,000 nursing homes that have emergency disaster plans, there are still shortcomings, according to a recent OIG report. Read More »

LTC response plans must be ‘operationalized’

While it is clear that gaps exist in emergency preparedness on all levels of healthcare, a great deal of progress has been made in long-term care that may not be adequately reflected in this recent OIG report. Read More »

Nursing home disaster plans are full of holes, OIG finds

In its recommendations, OIG suggested CMS add more specific emergency planning protocol to existing federal requirements for nursing home disaster preparedness. Read More »

Disaster planning workshop a long-term care success

Traditionally, nursing homes and other levels of long-term care have not been involved with disaster planning as part of the community on a broad-based scale. As this bi-annual conference shows, that's no longer the case. Read More »

Meth lab fire in Ohio nursing home spotlights bizarre tactics of producing drug

National safety and security experts say the lab’s presence in a nursing home is part of a larger trend involving the bizarre lengths meth addicts and dealers are willing to go for their drug. Read More »

The essential components of preparedness and compliance

Preparedness and safety are not to be ignored. They determine how successfully an adverse event may be mitigated. And in long-term care communities, disaster training and drills are required. Read More »

Over that hill, a nursing home in ruins

On May 22, an EF-5 tornado carved its way through Joplin, Mo., striking the Greenbriar nursing home with a direct hit. Months later, the affected share their stories. Read More »