Health Care Sheltering Considerations
Health care facilities must have a plan to house patients and maintain care during an evacuation. Administrators who are responsible for making evacuation plans and finding a host facility can use the following questions to determine if a host facility will help them provide the best client care during an evacuation.
- Is the host facility in a non-evacuation zone?
- What year was the host facility built?
- Construction after 2001 must meet building codes for a CAT III rating.
- Were steps taken to reinforce the host facility against a storm?
- What type of windows are installed at the host facility?
- If the windows are not impact-resistant, are there shutters?
- Is there a generator at the host facility?
- If not, will you be taking a portable generator with you?
- If you are using a portable generator, where will it be operated at the host facility?
- Who will be supplying fuel?
- How long will the fuel supply allow you to operate on generator power?
- If you are supplying the fuel, where will you store additional fuel?
- Where will patients, residents and supplies be housed?
- Obtain a floor plan which identifies the space allocated for residents/patients, staff, sheltered families and supplies.
- Identify food, water and medical needs of all evacuees for a minimum of seven days.
- Will you provide fans or other equipment to keep the space cool?
- Will you need beds or cots?
- How many staff members will evacuate with each load of patients, and how many will stay with them at the host facility?
- Are your sheltering needs within the operating capacity of the host facility?
- If not, will you apply for a waiver from the Agency for Health Care Administration?
- What procedures are in place to keep family members informed?
- How will you track residents/patients at the host facility?
- How will you report your status to the Department of Health and the Agency for Health Care Administration?
- Do you have a plan for backup communication (radio, satellite phone, etc.)?
- Do you have a plan for electrical, water or sewer failures at the host facility?
- How will you take care of trash and medical waste?
- Have you visited the location and performed a walk-through with a member of your staff that is responsible for patient care?
Contact Pinellas County Emergency Management for more information or resources that can help you develop an emergency plan.