Federal law requires that all nursing homes have comprehensive emergency plans in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. The emergency plan must suit the location of the facility and type of resident is serves. Most importantly, both nursing home staff and residents should be aware of the plan and should know what to do in the case of an emergency.
If no ’emergency plan’ has been discussed, it is important for both residents and their families to speak up and ask the administrator the following questions:
What is the plan in case of emergency?
Is there enough staff on duty to carry it out on all shifts?
Is there a contingency plan in place to move residents to alternative facilities?
How much food and medical supplies are kept on hand specifically for emergencies?
Does the facility hold drills for residents and staff to address emergency preparedness?
How will the family be notified of an emergency?
What is the nearest exit?
Like all aspects in selecting a facility, you are entitled to ask as many questions as you desire. You are entitled to considerate responses from nursing home staff. If your concerns are not answered, alternative facilities should be investigated.
Read more about emergency preparedness here.