Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Improving relations between emergency management offices and nursing homes during hurricane-related disasters

Kathryn Hyer, PhD, MPP, Lisa M. Brown, PhD, Kali S. Thomas, MA, David Dosa, MD, MPH, Jennifer Bond, PhD, LuMarie Polivka-West, MSP, John A. Schinka, PhD

Abstract


Objective: To document the importance of the relationship of nursing homes to emergency management entities before, during, and after hurricanes, and the operational challenges that nursing homes face, the authors report the effects of eight Florida (FL) hurricanes on 689 nursing homes (70,000 beds) during 2004 and 2005.
Design: Using a State Administrative data set of all nursing homes, the authors document the impact of the four major hurricanes on the homes’ ability to care for frail elders before, during, and after the storm. Supplementing State data are 257 self-reports from administrators on the impact of the hurricane on operations, resident care, and the importance of the relationship of the nursing home to local and state emergency operations entities.
Setting: Nursing homes.
Results: Almost one-third of all FL nursing homes either evacuated or sheltered residents from other facilities. No deaths during evacuation were reported for the 5,500 nursing home residents evacuated. Relationships with local emergency management offices prior to hurricanes were excellent, very good, or good for 58 percent of respondents. Regardless of the quality of the relationship, 80 percent of the respondents indicated that they would like to improve their relationship after 2004 season and 78 percent indicated they need to improve their disaster plans.
Conclusions: This article highlights the importance of establishing an effective working relationship between nursing homes and local emergency management offices during all phases of disaster preparedness to ensure that nursing home residents are safe.


Keywords


nursing homes, residents, relationships with local emergency management entities, older adults

Full Text:

PDF

References


Brunkard J. Namulanda G, Ratard R: Hurricane Katrina Deaths, Louisiana, 2005. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2008; 1(1): 215-223.

Hyer K, Brown LM, Berman A, et al.: Establishing and refining hurricane response systems for long-term care facilities. Health Affairs. 2006; 25(5): w407-w411.

Laditka SB, Laditka JN, Xirasagar S, et al.: Providing shelter to nursing home evacuees in disasters: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina. Am J Public Health. 2008; 98(7): 1288-1293.

Office of the Inspector General: Nursing Home Emergency Preparedness and Response During Recent Hurricanes.Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services, 2006; Report No.: OEI-06-06-00020.

Dosa DM, Grossman N,Wetle T, et al.: To evacuate or not to evacuate: lessons learned from Louisiana nursing home administrators following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2007; 8(3): 142-149.

Castle NG: Nursing home evacuation plans. Am J Public Health. 2008; 98(7): 1235-1240.

Brown LM, Hyer K, Polivka-West L: A comparative study of laws, rules, codes and other influences on nursing homes’ disaster preparedness in the Gulf Coast states. Behav Sci Law. 2007a; 25(5): 655-675.

Brown LM, Rothman M, Norris F: Issues in mental health for older adults during disasters. Generations. 2007b; 31(4): 25-30.

Castro C, Pearson D, Berstrom N, et al.: Surviving the storms: Emergency preparedness in Texas nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. J Geronol Nurs. 2008; 34(8): 9-16.

Hyer K, Polivka-West L, Brown LM: Nursing homes and assisted living facilities: Planning and decision-making for sheltering in place or evacuation. Generations. 2007; 31(4): 29-33.

Institute of Medicine: Research Priorities in Emergency Preparedness and Response For Public Health Systems.Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2008.

Florida Office of the Inspector General: Florida Department of Health after Action Report: 2004 Hurricane Season. Tallahassee, FL: Florida Department of Health, 2004.

Florida Office of the Inspector General: Florida Department of Health After Action Report: 2005 Hurricane Season. Tallahassee, FL: Florida Department of Health, 2005.

Swift E: Killing our aged. Key West Citizen. September 18, 2006.

Thomas KS, Hyer K, Brown L, et al.: Who foots the bill? Florida’s model of nursing home Medicaid reimbursement for hurricane related expenses. Poster presented at Gerontological Society of America 60th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, November 2007.

Hyer K, Brown LM, Christensen JJ, et al.: Weathering the storm: Challenges to nurses providing care to nursing home residents during hurricanes. Appl Nurs Res. 2009; 22(4): e9-e14.

Nohlgren S: Nursing homes swap storm stories and tips: Caregivers take away grim lessons from Katrina. St. Petersburg Times. May 23, 2007.

AARP Public Policy Institute: We Can Do Better: Lessons Learned for Protecting Older Persons in Disasters.Washington, DC: AARP Public Policy Institute, 2006.

Florida Health Care Education and Development Foundation: New Tools Help Nursing Homes with Emergency Management Planning. Tallahassee, FL: Florida Health Care Association, 2008.

Dosa DM, Hyer K, Brown LM, et al.: The controversy inherent in managing frail nursing home residents during complex hurricane emergencies. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2008; 9(8): 599-604.

Fink S: Louisiana hospitals learning lessons from Hurricane Gustav. ProPublica. September 5, 2008.

Schuler M: Plan urged for hospital, nursing home evacuations. Advocate Capitol News Bureau. 1A, September 30, 2008.

Graves T, Yarwood B: For-profit providers need share of disaster funding. Houston Chronicle. October 20, 2008.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Survey and certification, emergency preparedness for every emergency: Emergency preparedness checklist, 2007. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services. Available at www.cms.hhs.gov/ SurveyCertEmergPrep/downloads/S&C_EPChecklist_SA.pdf. Accessed November 12, 2008.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jem.2010.0005

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2018 Journal of Emergency Management