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Emergency Preparedness Information and Resource Update

This post provides an emergency preparedness update for the home and community services sector. It coordinates information from several recent state and regional emergency preparedness communications. (You can download this update in memo format as a PDF here.)

HCA thanks the New York State Department of Health/Office of Health Emergency Preparedness (OHEP), the regional Health Emergency Preparedness Coalitions (HEPCs) and the Regional Training Centers (RTCs) for this helpful information.

In the coming weeks, HCA will also provide summaries of further emergency preparedness developments, beginning with the new July 2015 to June 2016 EP project year initiatives for home care. These are collaborative initiatives of DOH/OHEP, HCA and other partners, under federal sponsorship. The collaboration further coordinates emergency preparedness with all health sectors (e.g., hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, EMS, etc.).

Below are the latest updates and references. HCA encourages all providers and health plans to check these references now and periodically for new material and scheduled sessions. As the summer progresses, new information and opportunities will be added to the calendar links. The web links will also reflect new information.

Beyond the offerings listed, HCA invites agencies to contact us at acardillo@hcanys.org with recommendations for additional areas of emergency preparedness training.

HEPC Regional Education/Training Update & Resource Links

The state’s regional HEPCs encompass four major geographic regions – Western New York, Central New York, Capital District and Major Metropolitan Area – and are further focused into subregions. The HEPC website at https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/emergency-preparedness.aspx provides background on the HPECs and the geographic mapping of each. Please use this for information to determine training sessions and meetings you may wish to attend.

Each HEPC has a training calendar at https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/emergency-preparedness/calendar.aspx. It is frequently updated for training, educational programing and meetings in the specific region. The calendar and links to each region were provided separately in a recent update circulated to HCA and emergency preparedness partners by the Finger Lakes Regional Training Center.

The links to the HEPC calendars for each region are:

Agencies and plans should check these web links periodically for emergency preparedness sessions and activities. To get an idea of typical program activities, check the prior month calendars.

Additionally, the state and HEPCs provide a host of tools and resources to assist in an array of emergency preparedness areas. The Finger Lakes RTC also recently forwarded us this updated link to statewide emergency preparedness resource:

The site covers the following areas and provides extensive resources for each:

  • 96 Hour Sustainability
  • Active Shooter
  • Alternate (Crisis) Standards of Care
  • Disaster Mental Health
  • Disaster Triage
  • Ebola
  • eFINDS
  • Emergency Preparedness Apps for iPhone/Tablet
  • Faith Based
  • General Preparedness
  • Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP)
  • IT/Cyber Security
  • National Incident Management System (NIMS/ICS)
  • OSHA/Hazmat/Decontamination
  • Pediatric
  • Personal Preparedness
  • Public Health
  • Recovery
  • Storm/Natural Disasters

Agencies are encouraged to access the information from these resources to the extent that they could further assist agency-initiated emergency preparedness training/education for staff.

HAM Radio Training Survey

The Stony Brook RTC is requesting input on the merit/need for conducting HAM radio training for emergency preparedness partners. The RTC is conducting a needs survey for this purpose, which can be accessed at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MARORTCHAMRadio.

Aware Prepare Update

The state Department of Health has released the July 2015 issue of the Aware Prepare Update. This monthly electronic newsletter is your guide to upcoming trainings related to preparedness. These trainings may be provided in one or more of the following formats, including: live webcasts, webinars and in person  training; archived webcasts, webinars and on demand eLearning.

Please read the Aware Prepare Update at http://hca-nys.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2015JulyAP.pdf.

Primer on Home Care Emergency Preparedness and Response

HCA collaborated with the New York State Association of Health Care Providers and OHEP to produce a “Primer” document on Home Care Emergency Preparedness and Response, as an educational tool for other sectors and participants in the overall EP and emergency preparedness process. Over the course of late winter, spring and early summer we circulated this primer extensively, and to virtually all sectors of the health system – hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, adult care facilities, managed care plans, managed long term care plans, local health departments, emergency managers, utility companies and others – to promote awareness and education of home care, and home care emergency preparedness responsibilities, challenges and initiatives, specifically.

Agencies are encouraged to print and distribute the primer locally/regionally. HCA found and has repeated reported to state and regional officials that among the chief obstacles and challenges to home care emergency preparedness is the lack of understanding by other sectors and broader emergency management personnel of the home care system, including elements unique to home care emergency preparedness and response. This document is one of an array of steps in a multi-tiered strategy being pursued by HCA, OHEP and partners to address this challenge.

Agencies can access the primer at http://www.hca-nys.org/documents/HomeCareEPPrimer.pdf. Note, the primer prints as a 6 page bi-fold document, if you decide to print and distribute.

One of the principal 2015-16 HCA-DOH emergency preparedness initiatives will be to work with individual home care agencies to connect and develop working relationships with their community’s local emergency management personnel. The effort will begin in the western region, and eventually progress statewide. This document will be one of many steps to assist in this effort.

HCA Home Care/Hospice “Essential Personnel” Bill — Passed Both Houses!

As announced in HCA’s legislative communications, “Essential Personnel” legislation for home care and hospice emergency preparedness passed the state Assembly and Senate, and awaits delivery to the Governor for his approval.

The legislation will address major challenges in home care/hospice emergency preparedness by:  (i) providing for procedures for home care/hospice agency access to their patients during emergencies, when access to geographic areas or during curfews is limited to only “essential personnel;” and (ii) including home care and hospice representatives (and therefore awareness and consideration of home care and hospice issues, concerns and needs) in the development of local emergency management plans.

Upon signature, this legislation will open the process for local emergency preparedness planning to incorporate critical improvements for home care and hospice. HCA will provide updates and guidance to agencies on approaches for participating in local implementation of these plans.

HCA will provide ongoing updates on emergency preparedness developments, resources and opportunities for the home care community.

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