EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN ORIENTATION AND TRAINING POLICY


All SAH employees are trained on the Emergency Preparedness Plan, including their responsibilities in carrying out the plan, upon hire and will participate in SAH plan in-service educational sessions annually.

 

 

PROCEDURE

  1. Stay at Home (SAH) has developed an emergency preparedness training program based on the Emergency Preparedness Plan, Communication Plan and Emergency Policies and Procedures.

  2. Initial Emergency Preparedness Training is provided to all new and existing staff, individuals providing services under arrangement and volunteers consistent with their expected roles at SAH.

  3. Emergency Preparedness Training is provided at least annually.

  4. SAH maintains documentation of all Emergency Preparedness Training provided. Attendance and demonstration of staff knowledge of emergency procedures is notated in the employee’s personnel file. As part of SAH's overall emergency plan, SAH has established and maintains guidelines in planning for the evacuation of clients and the SAH office in times of emergency with the goal to ensure safety and to mitigate harm to patients and the staff.

PLAN IMPLEMENTATION

1. SAH orients agency staff upon hire and annually in-service staff on planning for evacuation during an emergent situation which includes:

  • Their role in evacuation situation.

  • Client assessment and evacuation planning.

  • Procedures to follow should a client refuse to evacuate.

2. During the initial assessment, each client is assessed for care needs and risk during a crisis. The assessment will include medical and psychiatric condition, the location of the client, the client's transportation level, special needs, dependency on electricity or oxygen to sustain life, need for shelter, availability of assistance during a crisis and evacuation, and classification level. An individual client emergency plan is documented as part of the comprehensive assessment, to include:

  • Establishing an emergency contact list and identifying individuals who will assist during an emergency and who will assist with evacuation.

  • Facilitating the registration of clients who are dependent upon electricity to sustain life with local fire department and electricity supplier.

  • Determining the client's need for a Warming Center during the winter or a Cooling Center during summer.

  • Facilitating the registration of those with shelter or evacuation needs with State and local emergency preparedness officials.

3. SAH instructs clients, families, and caregivers on what to expect during an emergency to include:

  • SAH services may change or be discontinued during an emergency.

  • What to expect if they need to evacuate from their home.

  • Need to evacuate when the warning is given while help is available, otherwise assistance may not be available.

  • Preparing an emergency supply kit with essential medications, equipment, and supplies to bring with them to a shelter.

  • For clients on O2 or need electricity for life sustaining equipment: arranging to obtain extra supply of oxygen canisters, refills and other needed O2 equipment.

  • If you have animals, arranging with family or friends to take the animal during an emergency. If it is a special needs animal, checking to see if the shelter accepts animals. Preparing food, water, bowls, cat litter, cages, collars, muzzles, leashes, and medications for animals.

4. If a you do not want to evacuate, a SAH representative will:

  • Assess the your understanding of the potential impact of your choice and your understanding that you are assuming full responsibility for that choice. This will is clearly documented in your clinical record.

  • SAH will notify the fire department, emergency management, police, local shelter, your family, etc.

5. In the event SAH is in the evacuation zone, the administrator acting as emergency coordinator issues the order to evacuate the office.

  • The SAH workforce will reassemble at the SAH's relocation site.

  • Each department head maintains a staff member location log and be responsible for accounting for the current location of all staff members.

  • Staff members are responsible for checking in/out with his/her supervisor.

  • The SAH’s administrator is responsible for maintaining communication with local Office of Emergency Management and the State Department of Health.

 

AFTER THE EMERGENCY

1. SAH initiates its business continuity plan.

2. SAH re-establishes contact with all clients and workforce members as soon as possible, after the emergency stand down to determine location and service needs.

  • In the event SAH is unable to locate or contact clients or workforce members who were on duty during the emergency, SAH will inform State and local officials.

GAS EMERGENCY

When it comes out of the ground, natural gas has no smell or color.
An odor is added so you can smell it in case there is a leak.

If you smell a strong odor:

1. Get everyone out of your home/office

2. Don’t risk a fire by lighting a match, touching an electrical switch, or using a flashlight or telephone.

3. Call your natural gas company from a neighbor’s home/relocation site. (Do Not Use Your Phone)

If the smell of gas is very faint, a pilot light may be out. If so:

  • Make sure the appliance is off.

  • Open a window near the appliance.

  • Wait 5 minutes for the gas to clear.

4. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for relighting.

  • If a pilot light goes out often, have a professional check the appliance.

  • Don’t use your range as a space heater.

  • Read instructions carefully. Learn how to shut your appliance off in case of emergency.

  • Have appliances installed and serviced by qualified professionals.

  • Keep the area around your appliance clean and litter free. Keep flammables away.

  • Make sure the pressure relief valve on the top of your water heater is not blocked. If water or steam ever comes out of the valve, shut the water off and have it serviced.

  • Don’t install any energy saving device on a flue or vent without first contacting your natural gas company.

  • Remember: When in doubt -- get out. Call the gas company.

NATURAL GAS SAFETY RULES

To Prevent Accidents:

1. Follow manufacturer’s instructions with all gas appliances.

2. Have your gas appliances installed, serviced, and repaired by professionals.

3. Keep chimney flues and appliance vents clean and in good repair.

4. Keep flammable items away from your gas furnace or boiler and water heater.

5. Teach small children to stay away from gas appliances.

6. Teach family members what to do if they smell gas.

IN CASE OF A GAS EMERGENCY

1. If you smell gas and can’t find the source immediately, go to a neighbor’s house/reassembly site and call the gas company.

2. If the odor is not strong, open doors and windows for ventilation.

3. If the odor is strong or persists, get everyone out of the house/office.

4. Don’t use a telephone, switch a light on or off, or light a match if you smell gas.

5. Don’t try to relight the pilot light on any gas appliance until you’re sure there’s no more smell of gas.

6. Get immediate medical attention for victims of burns or carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

ELECTRICAL SAFETY

1. Report, label and remove electrical equipment from service if:

  • It has been dropped or otherwise physically abused.

  • Liquid has spilled on it.

  • Someone has received a shock or tingling sensation in connection with its use.

  • If there is evidence, such as smell or getting hot to the touch, of overheating.

2. Do not use machinery for which you have not been trained.

3. When removing a plug from an electric outlet, grasp the plug. DO NOT PULL THE CORD.

4. Furniture resting on cords can damage them, creating fire and shock hazards. Electric cords which run under carpeting may cause a fire.

  • Remove cords from under furniture or carpeting.

  • Replace damaged or frayed cords.

  • Nails or staples can damage cords, presenting fire and shock hazards.

  • Remove nails, staples, etc.

  • Check wiring for damage.

  • Use electrical tape to attach cords to walls or floors.

6. Damaged cords may cause a shock or fire.

  • Replace frayed or cracked cords.

7. Overloaded extension cords may cause fires. Standard 18-gauge extension cords can carry 1250 watts.

  • If the rating on the cord is exceeded because more than one appliance is being used on the cord, unplug some appliances.

  • If an extension cord is needed, use one having a sufficient amp or wattage rating.

8. Unusually warm or hot outlets or switches may indicate that an unsafe wiring condition exists.

  • Unplug cords from outlets and do not use the switches.

  • Have an electrician check the wiring as soon as possible.

9. A bulb of too high wattage or the wrong type may lead to fire through overheating. Ceiling fixtures, recessed lights, and “hooded” lamps will trap heat.

  • Replace with a bulb of the correct type and wattage. (If you do not know the correct wattage, use a bulb no larger than 60 watts.)

10. The grounding feature provided by a 3-hole receptacle or an adapter for a 2-hole receptacle is a safety feature designed to lessen the risk of shock.

  • Never defeat the grounding feature.

  • If you do not have a 3-hole outlet, use an adapter to connect the appliance’s 3-prong plug. Make sure the adapter ground wire or tab is attached to a ground at the outlet (usually the screw which holds the cover plate on).

11. Even an appliance that is not turned on, such as a hairdryer, can be potentially hazardous if it is left plugged in. If it falls into water in a sink or bathtub while plugged in, it could cause a lethal shock.

  • Unplug all small appliances when not in use.

  • Never reach into water to retrieve an appliance that has fallen in without being sure that the appliance is unplugged.

  • Consider installing a ground fault circuit interrupter (CFCI) in your bathroom outlet to protect against electric shock.

12. Electrical appliances and power cords can cause shock or electrocution if they come in contact with water. Cords can also be damaged by excessive heat.

  • Move cords and appliances away from sink areas and hot surfaces.

  • Move appliances closer to wall outlets or to different outlets so you won’t need extension cords.

  • If extension cords must be used, install wiring guides so the cords will not hang near sink, range, or working areas.

  • Consider adding new outlets for convenience and safety, ask your electrician to install outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to protect against electric shock. A GFCI is a shock-protection device that will automatically shut off electricity before serious injury or death occurs.

 

WEATHER RELATED EMERGENCIES

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to SAH workforce in response to a weather related or natural emergency (Snowstorm, Excessive Heat/Cold, Hurricane/Flood, Tornado, Earthquakes, etc.).

POLICY: As part of SAH's overall emergency plan, SAH maintains a plan for responding to weather related or natural emergencies and will provide agency workforce members with guidance to respond during an emergency.

IMPLEMENTATION

  1. SAH staff members make every reasonable effort to reach the assigned client.

  2. The client classification system is utilized to provide essential care while maximizing valuable resources and staff during a crisis.

  3. Clients may be advised that regular schedules for health care staff may be temporarily revised due to storm/emergency conditions.

  4. SAH employees contacts the office if unable to reach the client's home.

  5. Every reasonable attempt will be made to notify the client's family or contact person regarding inability to service client.

  6. If health care needs cannot be provided in the home, the client is to be transported to the nearest hospital, healthcare facility or emergency shelter.

  7. The SAH staff member maintains communication with his/her supervisor regarding his/her status and that of his/her client via traditional or alternate means of communication.

 

HURRICANE/FLOODING

  1. Find out how many feet your property is above or below possible flood levels; when predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you may be flooded.

  2. Keep a stock of food which requires no cooking or refrigeration. Regular electric and gas service may be disrupted.

  3. Keep a portable radio, emergency cooking equipment, and flashlights in working order; stock extra batteries.

  4. Keep first aid supplies and any medicines needed by members of your family.

  5. Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gas stations may not be able to operate pumps for several days.

  6. Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber handy for emergency waterproofing. But if flooding of significant depth is imminent, do not stack sandbags around the outside walls of your house to keep water out of your basement. Water seeping downward through the earth (either beyond the sandbags or over them) may collect around the basement walls and under the floor, creating pressure that could damage the walls or raise the entire basement and cause it to “float” out of the ground. In most cases, it is better to permit the flood waters to flow freely into the basement or flood the basement yourself with clean water (if you feel sure it will be flooded anyway). This will equalize the water pressure on the outside walls and floors, and thus avoid structural damage to the foundation and the house.

  7. Store drinking water in closed, clean containers. Water service may be interrupted.

  8. If flooding is likely and time permits, move essential items and furniture to the upper floors of your house. Disconnect any electrical appliances that can’t be moved – but don’t touch them if you are wet or standing in water.

EVACUATION

If you are advised to evacuate your home and move to another location temporarily, there are certain things to remember and do. Here the most important ones:

FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS AND ADVICE OF YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT

If you are advised to evacuate, do so promptly. If you are instructed to move to a certain location, go there - do not go anywhere else. If certain travel routes are specified or recommended, use those routes rather than trying to find short cuts of your own. (It will help if you are familiar with the routes likely to be used.) If you are told to shut off your water, gas, or electric services before leaving home, do so. Also find out from the radio where emergency housing and feeding stations are located in case you need to use them.

SECURE YOUR HOME BEFORE LEAVING

If you have not received other instructions from your local government, you should take the following actions before leaving you home:

  1. Bring outside possessions inside the house or tie them down securely. This includes outdoor furniture, garbage cans, garden tools, signs, and other moveable objects that might be washed away.

  2. Disconnect any electrical appliances or equipment that cannot be moved. (but DO NOT touch them if you are wet or are standing in water).

  3. Lock house doors and windows.

  4. Notify the SAH Office that you are evacuating.

TRAVEL WITH CARE

If your local government is arranging transportation for you, precautions will be taken for your safety. But if you are walking or driving your own car to another location, keep these things in mind:

  1. Leave early enough to avoid being stranded by flooded roads.

  2. Make sure you have enough gasoline in your car.

  3. Follow recommended routes.

  4. As you travel, keep listening to the radio for additional information and instructions from your local government.

  5. Watch for washed-out or undermined roadways, earth slides, broken sewer, or water mains, loose or downed electric wires, and falling or fallen objects.

  6. Watch out for areas where rivers or streams may flood suddenly. Do not try to cross a stream or a pool of water unless you are certain that the water will not be over your knees, or above the middle of your car’s wheels. If you decide it is safe, drive vehicle slowly to avoid splashing water into your engine and causing it to stop. Also, remember that your brakes may not work well after the wheels of your car have been in deep water. Try them out a few times when you reach a dry surface/road.

AFTER THE FLOOD/HURRICANE

  1. Do not use fresh food that has come in contact with flood waters.

  2. Test drinking water. Wells should be pumped out and the water tested before drinking.

  3. Do not visit the emergency area. Your presence will probably hamper rescue and other emergency operations.

  4. Do not handle live electrical equipment in wet areas. Electrical equipment should be checked and dried before returning it to service.

  5. Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights, not oil or gas lanterns or torches, to examine buildings. Flammables may be inside.

  6. Report broken utility lines to police, fire, or other appropriate authorities.

  7. Keep tuned to your radio or television station for advice and instructions of your local government on where to obtain medical care, where to get assistance for such necessities as housing, clothing, and food, and how to help yourself and your community to recover.

  8. Notify your insurance agent or broker if your property was damaged by the flood. A winter storm watch indicates there is a threat of severe winter weather in a particular area, including snow fall, blizzard, ice storm and extreme cold.

 

WINTER STORMS

Check food and fuel supplies. Contact the SAH office if you need medical supplies.

Get prescriptions refilled.

Freezing rain or freezing drizzle is forecasted when expected rain is likely to freeze as soon as it strikes the ground, putting a coating of ice on roads and walkways. If a substantial layer of ice is expected to accumulate from the freezing rain, a winter storm warning is issued.

Sleet is small particles of ice, usually mixed with rain. If enough sleet accumulates on the ground, it will make the roads slippery. Travelers’ Advisories are issued when ice and snow are expected to hinder travel but not seriously enough to require warnings.

BE PREPARED FOR ISOLATION AT HOME

If you live in a rural area, make sure you can survive at home for a week or two in case a storm isolates you and it is impossible for you to leave. You should:

  1. Keep an adequate supply of heating fuel on hand and use it sparingly, your regular supplies may be curtailed by storm condition. If necessary, conserve fuel by keeping the house cooler than usual, or by “closing off’ some rooms temporarily. Have available emergency heating equipment and fuel so you could keep at least one room of your house warm enough to be livable. Keep in mind, however, that whenever fuel heating devices are used, there must be adequate ventilation to avoid buildup of potentially toxic fumes. Also, be sure to use only the proper fuel recommended by the manufacturer. If you have a fireplace, controlled by a thermostat and your electricity is cut off by a storm, the furnace probably will not operate, and you will need emergency heat.

  2. Stock an emergency supply of food and water as well as emergency cooking equipment such as a portable stove. Some of this food should not require refrigeration or cooking.

  3. Make sure you have a battery-powered radio and extra batteries on hand, so that if your electric power is cut off you could still hear weather forecasts, information, and advice broadcast by local authorities. Also, flashlights or lanterns with extra batteries would be needed.

  4. Keep on hand the simple tools and equipment needed to fight a fire such as an extinguisher.

  5. Be certain that all family members know how to take precautions to prevent fire at such a time, when the help of the fire department may not be available.

  6. If your home loses power and/or heat, and you do not have adequate heat to stay warm, you may go to a designated public shelter (warming shelter). To find a shelter near your area text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA). Bring personal items that you will need such as toiletries and medications. Take precautions traveling to the shelter. Dress warmly in layers, wear boots, mittens, and a hat.

DRESS FOR THE SEASON

If you spend much time outdoors, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than a single layer of thick clothing. Mittens are warmer that gloves. Use a hood to protect you head and face and to cover your mouth to protect your lungs from the cold frigid air.

TRAVEL ONLY IF NECESSARY

If you must travel, use public transportation if possible. If you are forced to use your automobile for a trip of any distance, take these precautions.

  1. Make sure your car is in good condition, properly serviced, equipped with chains or snow tires, and filled with gas.

  2. Take another person with you if possible.

  3. Make sure someone knows where you are going, your approximate schedule, and your estimated time of arrival.

  4. Have emergency “winter storm supplies” in the car, such as a container of sand, shovel, windshield scraper, tow chain or rope, flares, and a flashlight with extra batteries. It is also good to have with you heavy gloves or mittens, overshoes, extra woolen socks, and winter headgear to cover your head and face.

  5. Travel by daylight and use major highways if you can. Keep the car radio turned on for weather information and advice.

  6. Drive with all possible caution. Don’t try to save time by traveling faster than road and weather conditions permit.

  7. Don’t be daring or foolhardy. Rather than risk being stalled, lost, or isolated, stop, turn back, or seek help if conditions threaten to test your ability or endurance. If you are caught in a blizzard, seek refuge immediately.

KEEP CALM IF YOU GET IN TROUBLE

If your car breaks down during a storm, or if you become stalled or lost, don’t panic. Think the problem through, decide the safest and best thing to do, and then do it slowly and carefully. If you are on a well-traveled road, indicate that you are in trouble. Flash your directional lights or hang a cloth from the radio aerial or car window. Then stay in your car and wait for help to arrive. If you run the engine to keep warm, remember to open a window enough to provide ventilation and protect you from carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep the exhaust pipe free of snow. If there is no house or other source of help in sight, do not leave your car to search for assistance, you may become confused and get lost.

WINTER STORM SUPPLIES FOR YOUR CAR

1. Windshield Scraper

2. Shovel

3. Booster cables

4. Sand or kitty liter

5. Flares

6. Tow chain or rope

7. Flashlight with extra batteries

8. Candles and matches

9. First aid kit and manual

10. Heavy gloves and mittens

11. Winter headgear

12. Extra woolen socks

13. Overshoes/boots

14. Two plastic bags, large enough to fit on feet (Can be used as additional water proofing between socks and boots).

15. Blankets

16. Non-perishable high energy foods (Granola bars, raisins, peanut butter, or candy bars).

17. Bottled water. Place in car just prior to traveling as water may freeze if
left in car overnight.

EXTREME HEAT

Those that are more likely to become victims of excessive heat include the elderly, young, sick and overweight. People living in urban areas are at greater risk from the effects of excessive heat than those living in rural areas. Those with disabilities and others with access and functional disabilities are at a greater risk for heat related illnesses.

Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinking caffeine (soft drinks, coffee, tea, etc.) and alcohol.

Stay indoors in an air-conditioned environment. If you do not have an air conditioner or your air conditioner is not working, consider other options for staying cool such as a cooling center.

Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find a cooling center near your area.

Consider staying in a public building such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities during the warmest part of the day. Limit outdoor activity to mornings and evening hours. Contact the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) about qualifying for a free air conditioner through HEAP.

Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Take frequent rest periods in shady areas if you must be outdoors. Take a cool shower or bath. Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Wear sun block and a wide-brim hat.

Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.

Register with your local utilities provider if you rely on electric-powered medical equipment at home (respirators, dialysis machines, apnea monitors, CPAP, Oxygen Concentrators) so that you can be contacted in the event of an emergency.

EMERGENCY SUPPLY LIST

  • Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Prescription medications and glasses

  • Infant formula and diapers

  • Pet food and extra water for your pet

  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container

  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change

  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov

  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.

  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.

  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.

  • Fire Extinguisher

  • Matches in a waterproof container

  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels

  • Paper and pencil

  • Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for children

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