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Nursing homes, hospitals brace for Isaac

August 27, 2012
by pamela tabar
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Two days before the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Coast is preparing for the arrival of Isaac. The storm is currently a tropical storm, but is expected to become at least a Category 1 hurricane by tomorrow.

The outer bands of the storm are already affecting the panhandle of Florida, and is currently predicted to strike the Louisiana and Alabama shores sometime on Wednesday.

Long-term care facilities learned hard lessons about disaster preparedness after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brief. Data quoted in the brief indicated that the proper evacuation/transportation of elderly residents during the emergency and the management of chronic diseases later were particular issues after the 2005 storms.

“Any interruption in the continuity of services creates a grave situation where people are depending on assistance with their activities of daily living, hygiene, eating, meals-on-wheels, and medications,” Fran Brooks, CPM, PMP, the emergency operations and disaster preparedness officer for the Florida Department of Elder Affairs explained in the CDC brief.

An Office of Inspector General report released in April revealed that many long-term care facilities are not as prepared as they should be for emergencies of any kind.

Several organizations have provided thorough checklists and guides to help long-term care facilities prepare:

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