emergency n. An unexpected, serious occurrence or situation urgently requiring prompt action.
Emergency situations occur every day - some are the result of natural disasters such as winter storms, flooding or extreme heat; others are the result of man-made situations. However, with preplanning and emergency preparedness, not all emergencies need end in a disaster. While everyone should have some form of disaster plan, it is essential that healthcare providers - especially long-term care facilities - have established emergency plans
Emergency Plans Required
State and federal regulations both require that nursing facilities have a written emergency plan to be followed in the event of fire, tornado, or other emergency. [481 IAC 58.28(2)] Further, in-service shall be provided to ensure that all employees are knowledgeable of the emergency plan.
The Interpretive Guidelines contained in the State Operations Manual (SOM) suggest that a facility tailor its disaster plan to its geographic location and the type of residents its serves. The purpose of a "staff drill" is to test the efficiency, knowledge, and response of institutional personnel in the event of an emergency.
Click here to view a copy of the Department's rules regarding emergency plans.
Click here to view the federal regulations regarding emergency plans.
Emergency Power and Water Supplies
In addition to having an emergency plan, federal regulations require that all facilities have an emergency electrical power system and a procedure to ensure that water is available to essential areas when there is a loss of normal water supply.
Click here to view the federal regulations regarding emergency electrical power systems.
Click here to view the federal regulations regarding emergency water supplies.
State regulations require that the Director of the Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) be notified when damage to the facility which impairs its ability to function is caused by fire or natural or other disaster. Notification must occur within 24 hours of the event.
Click here to view a copy of the Department's rules regarding notification.
Click here to access the "contact" list for the Department's Health Facilities Division.