Updating Your Community’s Disaster Readiness Plan

by Amanda Cupp on July 30th, 2015

Many senior living communities have a disaster readiness plan in place, but it may be outdated and in need of attention. Times change, technology changes, and recommendations and guidelines of how to handle specific issues during a natural or man-made disaster also change. FEMA provides a high level of information on how to prepare a disaster readiness plan. While it’s not specifically targeting senior living communities, it can certainly be used to help these facilities create a plan that works for them.

For example, how to get to a safe place is one of the most important issues when it comes to disaster readiness. For a senior living community, there are several issues surrounding this that have to be considered. First, where is the safe place, and is it the same place for every kind of disaster? Second, can the residents get to that safe place? If they have mobility issues or other concerns, some places that would be safe may be off limits to them. Additionally, it may take them longer to get to the designated place, and they may need specific types of accommodations once they get there. Determining all of this in advance will help any disaster plan go more smoothly.

The other main concern with senior living communities and disaster plans is whether everyone is notified, and whether they are accounted for when they arrive at the designated meeting place in the disaster ready plan. If they aren’t accounted for, others may think that they are missing when they really may not be. That can lead to people going looking for them, which can then put those people at risk. Meeting in the right place and being counted can help reduce that risk.

To ensure a smooth execution of the plan, if and when it is ever needed, there are tools at your disposal. Companies like One Call Now provide options for long term care communities across the nation to keep their staff, residents, and their families informed during an emergency. With a mass messaging system, your senior living facility can quickly and efficiently reach out to hundreds, or even thousands of people through voice messaging, text messaging, or email. It’s a great way to provide event reminders and other types of information, but it can also save lives and property during a disaster. Protecting senior living residents is easier with the right communication tools.

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