Emergency Preparedness Requirements in Facilities
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The purpose of an emergency preparedness plan in a facility is to ensure thorough planning and swift response time in the event of a disaster or crisis. As we have learned, the possibility of a disaster striking exists. These crisis situations could be extended power loss, fire, mass casualty, an infectious disease outbreak, security threats, or severe weather.
It is important to be mindful of the fact that everyone needs to have an emergency plan. This includes all Assisted Living and Nursing Facilities. Facilities are mandated to tailor their plan to their specific geographical location and the type of residents they serve. Each facility should regularly review the procedures in place and practice with mock drills. The Virginia Administrative Code lists all of the safety and emergency procedure requirements for Assisted Living and Nursing Facilities.
The Office of Emergency Management in Fairfax County has also devised a useful document entitled, "Emergency Planning Guidance for Medical and Patient Care Facilities" (PDF). This document was designed to assist facilities in creating a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan.
Both residents as well as their families should be mindful and inquire about a facility's emergency preparedness plan. Inquiries should be made regarding the following: the actual plan, questions about staffing, supplies, resident information, coordination with other resources, and the role of the family.
For further information on Emergency Preparedness, please visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/oem.
Specific information on assisted living or nursing facility requirements can be found at these links: