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Disaster Information

CareOne Emergency Communications Plan Summary

CareOne has methods of communicating both internally and externally during a crisis or disaster situation and recognizes that traditional communication systems may not be available (failure) or may be overwhelmed (overload) during such a critical event.

During any emergency, maintaining communication will be a priority of the Center. The importance of maintaining these communications, both internal and external, is important to ensure a coordinated response to the disaster, communication with staff, residents and residents’ families, as well as the important communication with community partners (local, state and federal) to assist the Center in an emergency.

Communications will primarily be through normal channels.  However, detailed in this plan summary are alternate methods and systems. Communications throughout a disaster response will be coordinated through the Incident Command System.

Planning for Alternate Communications

  1. The facility utilizes its telephones/intercom/public address system as the primary communication method for internal usage in the event of a disaster event.
    1. Should primary methods of communication fail, alternate communication methods available at all CareOne centers are:
  2. Cellular phones
  3. Internet (website postings)
  4. Two-way radios;
  5. Email (if computer systems are operable);
  6. Mass notification systems via PCC Cliniconex (for residents/families) and Smartlinx (for employees).  Messages may be sent from remote locations as needed.
  7. Use of “runner” to deliver messages to nearby resources.
  • These devices are tested quarterly to ensure proper functioning.

Communication with Residents and Family Members

Each CareOne Center maintains an “All Hazards Emergency Plan” which is available for residents and legal representatives to review upon request.

  • The facility maintains emergency contact numbers for resident responsible parties and family members, and strongly encourages these individuals to provide reliable contact information and update that information if it should change.
  • Responsible parties and family members are notified as quickly as possible when there is a disaster/emergency situation at the facility.
  • Staff members are briefed on the following elements to share with residents and family members as assigned:

Type of threat;Estimated time and severity of impact;General outlook at the current time;Expected disruptions to services or routines;What the facility administration has done and is doing right now to lessen negative outcomes;When to expect updated status reports; andWhat the residents, responsible parties, and family members can do to help.

Public Relations – Information for the Community

  • The facility designates an individual to educate staff members, residents, family members, and other applicable members/organizations within the community that the facility has initiated a comprehensive program to address issues pertaining to emergency preparedness and planningin order to lessen its perceived burden on the community.
    • CareOne has designated the following as official spokespersons with alternates designated:
      • Chief legal officer
      • Executive Vice President (A)
      • Center Administrator (A)
      • In advance of a crisis or disaster scenario that may require the facility to evacuate or shelter-in-place and present media and public relations issues/concerns, the following points are considered:
  • Standardized ways of disseminating information (regular briefings, scheduled press conferences, etc.);
  • What information will be released, when and to whom;
  • Appropriate training for anyone in the organization who may deal with the media or perform public relations duties;
  • Information that will need to be provided pertaining to the situation:
  • How residents will be protected;
  • How residents and family will be kept informed of the situation;
  • How residents and family members can help or be involved;
  • Who will be in charge of the situation;
  • Who will be providing the most accurate information about the facility’s status; and
  • Training for all employees to clearly define responsibilities and limitations regarding contact with the media and the release of information as part of the employees’ conditions of employment.
  1. Factors to consider when releasing information must balance protection of the privacy, health, and welfare of the residents. When the information cannot be disclosed, the release is refused with an explanation.
    1. When the general public may need for information and reassurance, communication will also include:
  2. Advising the public not to come to the scene unless asked to do so;
  3. Methods of apprising the public of the situation;
  4. Anticipated “next steps”;
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