September is National Preparedness Month, and in recognition of this important tradition, SelectCare Home Care Services will dedicate the next five weeks to sharing important emergency preparedness information and resources to our community.
Because our work at SelectCare largely involves assisting older adults in their day-to-day lives, we will take a particular focus on mitigating emergency events while coping with heightened medical needs, limited mobility, and other challenges faced by our clients. Of course, much of this information holds true for the general population as well, and further information can be found locally at NY Emergency Management’s website and nationally at Ready.gov.
Why Be Prepared (as an organization)
In order to successfully provide reliable, quality home health care, a lot of things need to “click.” Administrators need to be able to communicate with caregivers, clients, and physicians to coordinate efforts, caregivers depend on public transportation networks to reach their clients, and clients themselves depend on a whole host of public utilities and services for their basic needs, like electricity and water.
In a system this complex, occasional disruptions are all but inevitable. Emergency preparation comes into play when any or all of these factors fail to “click” due to events like severe weather, utility disruptions, natural disasters, and others.
Rather than attempting to shore up disruptions of service on-the-fly, reputable home health care agencies will begin planning for contingencies even before services officially begin, developing secondary ways to provide care, communication, supplies, shelter, transportation, and administrative oversight to clients in spite of these setbacks
Even in non-medical fields, businesses and institutions can face crippling setbacks if not properly prepared for emergencies. Not only do they stand to lose business due to emergency-related closures, but damaged or lost inventory can have a huge impact on a business’s survival.
Why Be Prepared (as a household and individual)
Larger institutions benefit from the help of professional emergency planners and government resources, however these efforts fall flat if the individuals that make up an organization are not prepared at a personal level.
For example, a home health care agency might have researched alternate ways for a caregiver to reach their client if subways shut down; however, those travel plans are useless if a caregiver will not leave their home because they are not confident their loved ones will be safe on their own.
In an absolute worst case scenario, a lack of preparedness at the household or individual level can actually harm the safety of others by diverting limited emergency resources. For example, a household that does not have a reliable source of emergency information might miss a call for evacuation. In this instance, first responders might need to be called to perform a rescue, preventing them from helping people facing unavoidable hazards.
Upcoming Blog Articles on Emergency Planning & Preparedness
Over the next four weeks, our blogs will focus on specific aspects of emergency planning and preparedness in hopes of building a more resilient community. These articles will present the most up-to-date emergency preparation practices and opportunities currently available, as well as lessons learned from previous emergency events.
Week 1 Blog: Preparing Family and Friends
During an emergency, information is critical. This article will focus on strategies you can use to stay in touch with your family during an emergency.
Week 2 Blog: Preparing Your Community
Emergency preparation does not end at your doorstep. This article will offer ways you can get involved in your local emergency preparation efforts.
Week 3 Blog: Individual Preparation
The first hours of an emergency shouldn’t be spent scrambling for supplies. This article will show readers what they need to ride out common emergency scenarios.
Week 4 Blog: Lessons Learned
Learning from previous experiences is key to improving future emergency responses. In this article, we will look back at common emergency scenarios and help readers build specific plans for these events.
SelectCare Home Care Services thanks our readers for their interest in this incredibly important subject. With just a little bit of effort over the course of the month, each and every one of us can do our part to create a safer, stronger community together.
If you are ready to jump into emergency preparation now and can’t wait until our next article, we recommend you check some of our previous work on the subject at the following links: