Members of the Metrolina Medical Reserve Corps would like to support disaster risk reduction within the community by incorporating Skilled Nursing Facilities into the regional healthcare preparedness community. In addition to the volunteers in the Metrolina MRC, this community consists of hospitals, emergency medical services, public health, and county emergency management. While each agency has an integral part to play in providing emergent healthcare for the citizens of the Metrolina Region, without a coordinated response, these services can be quickly overwhelmed. There are hundreds of Skilled Nursing Facilities within the Metrolina Region, but the status of their current capabilities, infrastructure, and planning activities are largely unknown. Many Skilled Nursing facilities' emergency operations plans begin with "call 911" and end with "evacuate to the hospital." By incorporating them into the healthcare preparedness community, not only can they improve their resilience, but the hospitals, EMS, and other partners can better incorporate the residents of these facilities into their planning. The two main goals for this project include determining the best means by which Skilled Nursing Facilities can be incorporated into the healthcare preparedness community and to increase communication between Skilled Nursing facilities and other partners.
Disaster Preparedness for Skilled Nursing Facilities
December 10, 2015 marked the first Continuing Care Workshop presented by Metrolina Healthcare Preparedness Coalition and All-Clear Emergency Management Group. Numerous representatives from facilities throughout the Metrolina region participated in learning about Hazard Vulnerability Assessments and Emergency Operations Planning. Attendees were exposed to the various types of HVAs available to them for use. In addition, they learned what emergency operations planning means in regards to their facilities and their positions within the facilities.