Recent natural disasters around our part of the world have many people evaluating their emergency preparedness, and Rolla Presbyterian Manor is no exception.
In October, directors met with local fire, EMS, and Phelps County Sheriff’s officials for a “tabletop exercise” to review Presbyterian Manor’s plans in the event of many types of disasters, from flood and fire to tornado and earthquake. Executive Director Ann Caudill noted that the Rolla area experienced flooding earlier this year right up to our own campus.
“We always think fire is our biggest (threat), but we just did our vulnerability assessment and we found that a tornado is our biggest,” Ann said. “You can never prepare totally, but you need to have a plan.”
At the tabletop exercise, the manor’s leadership team decided on a scenario for a future disaster drill and began mapping it out. “The fire department and ambulance services tell us where our strengths are and where we need to pick it up. They will help us identify opportunities for improvement,” Ann said. “Then, when we go to the physical drill, we will have addressed the weaknesses and filled the holes.”
Although the safety of residents and staff is paramount every day, long-term care communities that accept Medicare and Medicaid are also under new requirements from the federal government for emergency preparedness. Communities are required to draft a plan with local authorities and have it in place by Nov. 15, 2017.
The manor already stages a monthly fire drill, rotated among all three shifts, and an annual tornado drill. The goal is to shelter in place whenever possible, but if evacuation is necessary, we have arrangements with other long-term care communities. Ann said those working on emergency procedures are also taking guidance from the Ready in 3 program promoted by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. (Individuals and families can learn about preparing kits and making their own emergency plans at health.mo.gov/emergencies/readyin3.)
Residents and their families are welcome at any time to review our emergency plans and ask questions, Ann said. They can find out how Presbyterian Manor will notify them about what’s happening in the event of a disaster. Plus, people can sign up to be trained and called upon to help at the manor in case of an emergency.
When the plans are finalized, Ann said they will be presented to all of the resident councils and to the Manor’s Mission Committee (formerly known as the advisory council).
It’s said that you should always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. At Rolla Presbyterian Manor, we are committed to being ready for whatever comes our way.