A Message on Emergency Preparedness Month from Andrew Koski, HCA’s Vice President for Program Policy and Services

Situation Report | September 13, 2021    

Dear HCA Members,

While it seems as though we have all been in non-stop “emergency mode” for the past two years, September is actually Emergency Preparedness Month.

This month is a great opportunity to step back and take a look at all you have accomplished during the COVID-19 pandemic, what lessons you have learned and what actions you have taken, and can still take, to make your organization more resilient for the next pandemic or disaster.

As Hurricanes and Tropical Storms seem to batter our homes and service areas weekly AND regularly, we all need to reexamine our emergency plans; look at how we communicate with staff and patients; continuously update patient rosters; reengage with preparedness health partners, including local health departments, offices of emergency management, hospitals and other facilities; and become familiar with the many resources available from HCA; Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center and Information Exchange (ASPRIE); the Federal Emergency Management Agency; state Department of Health; NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH); and others.

Remember, there is no need to reinvent the wheel… Many organizations have already developed useful materials for staff and patients. New York City organizations should connect with NYC DOHMH and other providers should work with their regional Health Emergency Preparedness Coalitions.

HCA is also a great resource for emergency preparedness educational opportunities. For example, each year, HCA hosts an Emergency Preparedness Conference that covers a variety of emergency-related issues. This year’s conference will take place virtually on Wednesday, October 6.

Topics to be covered at the conference, include:

  • An update on state and federal regulatory relief measures for home care and hospice providers;
  • How to prepare for a cyber security attack;
  • Ways to ensure compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Emergency Temporary Standard Rule and New York’s HERO Act;
  • Providers’ experiences with surveys during the pandemic; and
  • A tabletop exercise to meet state and federal requirements.

Registration information will soon be available. Please plan to join us!

Meanwhile, we are here for you during, after and prior to your emergency needs. Please feel free to reach out to us in any situation.


Andrew Koski
Vice President for Program Policy and Services