Your emergency plan has been written and unused year after year (minus the annual drill)…. Until a massive hurricane is barreling right in the path of your community. Now, what do you do? If you have practiced this plan, it will be a smooth operation and your residents will feel safe and secure because of your due diligence. Check out the regulation below as to what the DHH expects regarding the emergency plan activation:
- 6877. Emergency Plan Activation, Review, and Summary
- Following an event or occurrence of a disaster or emergency, whether the ARCP shelters in place or evacuates, upon request by the department the ARCP shall submit a written summary attesting how the ARCP’s emergency preparedness plan was followed and executed. The initial summary shall contain, at a minimum:
- pertinent plan provisions and how the plan was followed and executed;
- plan provisions that were not followed;
- reasons and mitigating circumstances for failure to follow and execute certain plan provisions;
- contingency arrangements made for those plan provisions not followed; and
- a list of all injuries and deaths of residents that occurred during the execution of the plan, including the date, time, causes, and circumstances of these injuries and deaths.
- The ARCP’s emergency plan(s) shall be activated at least annually, either in response to an emergency or in a planned drill. All staff shall be trained and have knowledge of the emergency plan.
- All ARCPs must conduct egress and relocation drills in accordance with the requirements of the OSFM and the applicable edition of the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code published by the NFPA.
- All staff shall participate in at least one drill annually.
- Fire extinguishers shall be conspicuously hung, kept easily accessible, shall be visually examined monthly and the examination shall be recorded on a tag which is attached to the fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers shall also be inspected and maintained in accordance with manufacturers’ and applicable NFPA requirements. Each fire extinguisher shall be labeled to show the date of such inspection and maintenance.
- In addition to the exercises for emergencies due to fire, the ARCP plan shall be activated at least once per year for emergencies due to a disaster other than fire, such as storm, flood, and other natural disasters. The activation(s) shall include an exercise for shelter-in-place and an exercise for evacuation. The ARCP shall document the exercise for shelter-in-place and the exercise for evacuation.
- The ARCP’s performance during the activation of the plan shall be evaluated annually by the ARCP and the findings shall be documented in the plan. Records shall be kept to document the evacuation times and participation. Such records shall be maintained at the ARCP and shall be readily available to the OSFM upon request.
- The plan shall be revised if indicated by the ARCP’s performance during the emergency event or the planned drill.
It is not just enough to perform one drill a year as EVERY staff member must undergo one practice drill per calendar year. It is recommended to perform this drill in some capacity at a minimum of quarterly.