Although Alabama winters are known to be mild, cold weather conditions can cause a slew of issues for the residents of a senior care community. Inclement weather not only causes discomfort, but it can quickly escalate into a life-threatening situation, such as a blizzard or a snowstorm that lasts for days.
It can also cause unexpected accidents, falls, and transportation problems. If you run a senior community in Mobile, AL, and severe weather is forecast for the next few days, there are a few things you should do to ensure the overall safety of the community and its residents.
Create a Detailed Plan
Storm watches, warnings, and other government advisories must be taken seriously and should serve as your cue to develop a solid safety plan. To save valuable time in emergencies, a safety plan and all related guidelines should ideally be prepared well in advance, even in the absence of inclement weather. A good plan includes strategies for all possible scenarios, as well as step-by-step procedures that outline the next course of action.
Establish partnerships with local hospitals, pharmacies, and other community businesses and shops as part of this plan. You never know whom you might need to turn to for assistance, and the support of a community is invaluable in such situations.
Review Plans Periodically
Keep in mind that a good plan is not set in stone. As situations change, plans may need to be revised, tweaked, and new ideas incorporated. For example, renovations in the senior care community may necessitate changes in evacuation routes, or new team members may need to be included in the original plan. Keeping an open mind is essential in order to revisit these plans at critical junctures.
Circulate Key Information
Disbursing a plan effectively is almost as important as preparing one. If you have an emergency plan in place that team members aren’t aware of, it may cause chaos during a crisis. Ensure that important information and guidelines, as well as any potential revisions, are distributed throughout the community to ensure that all are on the same page. Distributing flyers may not be sufficient, so hold regular meetings with team members if required.
Stock Up on Supplies
One of the most serious risks during a weather disaster is food, medicine, and water shortage. To avoid this, stock up on at least three days’ worth of all necessary supplies, especially medications. If your supplies are running low, reach out to partner businesses and facilities for assistance.
Communicate With Team Members
Team members are the backbone of any senior care community. Ensure that the management attends to their needs so that they are well-equipped to care for the residents’. Make lodging arrangements for team members if necessary to reduce potential transportation risks. For a smooth process, assign clear job duties and appoint zonal supervisors.
Preparedness is the foundation of any weather crisis. Periodic weather safety drills and practicing the steps of your emergency plan with team members will go a long way toward securing your senior care community during severe weather.