Federal Effort Targets Support for Long-Term Care in Emergencies

By Dan Hounsell
May 24, 2021

Emergency preparedness and resilience in facilities is challenging enough when the building occupants in question are generally able to fend for themselves. Healthcare facilities managers face a much more complex challenge preparing their facilities for an emergency because occupants of their building often require assistance — sometimes a great deal of it — to move to safety when the crisis hits.

Prompted in part by a viral photo from 2017 showing residents of a Houston-area assisted living community sitting waist-deep in water for hours during Hurricane Harvey before they were evacuated, the federal government is establishing two new committees to provide support for older adults and people with disabilities during emergencies, according to McKnight’s Senior Living

The National Advisory Committee on Seniors and Disasters will provide advice and recommendations to the Health and Human Services secretary to support and enhance all-hazards public health and medical preparedness, response activities and recovery aimed at meeting the unique needs of seniors.

The National Advisory Committee on Individuals with Disabilities and Disasters will provide similar oversight with expertise on disability accessibility and disaster planning and preparedness.

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