Assisted living facilities are required by Title 22, Section 87212 to have detailed emergency response plans and procedures in place to enact these plans. Facilities providing care to dementia residents, who also have a waiver permitting the use of delayed egress devices on exterior doors and/or locked perimeter fence gates, are also required to conduct regular emergency drills under Title 22, Sections 87705(k)(3) and (l)(8) to increase the likelihood of a coordinated, successful response. Facilities that do not maintain these waivers are not required to conduct regular emergency drills.
While written plans and procedures are important, it is often access to information and communication in real time that ultimately saves lives. Smart phones and tablets are playing an increasingly vital role during emergencies. This article highlights how these devices may be incorporated into your facility’s emergency planning to improve the safety of staff and residents and reassure families during the event.
Downloadable Apps & Social Media Suggestions
Should you choose to incorporate any of the above into your emergency plan, it is recommended you do a trial run using the technology and continue to practice its use in drills to keep skills current and install updates as required.
In closing, most of us rely heavily on our mobile devices in our daily lives and may take for granted their availability during a crisis. It is important to secure external backup batteries for your device(s) and store them with your emergency supplies. Also, if you know an emergency is headed your way, be sure to have everyone who has a cell phone or tablet charge it ahead of any possible power outage.
As natural disasters occur with greater frequency, more residents and their families will be asking about a facility’s emergency plan. Facilities that can demonstrate modern, practical approaches to managing emergencies will earn their confidence more readily.