Disaster Ready Behavioral Care Toolkit

The development of this Disaster Ready Behavioral Care Tool Kit was one of the key recommendations of the Disaster Ready Behavioral Care Pilot conducted in 2018/19. The driving force behind both the Pilot Study and this Tool Kit is the growth of behavioral care in long term care, and the significance of emergency preparedness for the vulnerable population served.

Many skilled nursing facilities now have behavioral care units, serving individuals with geropsychiatric issues or behaviors associated with dementia. All skilled facilities deal with behaviors in some form, even with the “traditional” nursing home population. Included in the Tool Kit is a document that will serve as a decision-making guide in an emergency. Studying this guide in your emergency preparedness efforts and promoting dialogue with your leadership team in advance of a disaster will serve you well.

Our hope is that this Tool Kit will be a helpful resource for all facilities providing some form of behavioral care. We know that you are caring for the most vulnerable long term care residents. We also know that you are some of the leading experts in the field and have much to share. We plan to make this a “living document” with new additions and revisions as we move forward. So please share with us your insight and feedback to allow us to strengthen this tool. Send your insight/feedback to Krysten Dobson at kdobson@azhca.org.

Behavioral Care Tool Kit

Clarification on State Evacuation Drill Requirements

AHCA Disaster Planning Consultants received additional clarification on specific aspects of the new evacuation drill requirements that went into effect on July 1, 2014.  Previously the requirement was that all residents of SNF and ALF had to be evacuated to the exterior of the building during the two evacuation drills required per year. ADHS clarified the requirement as follows:

  • Evacuation of residents to the exterior of the building is not required when the building is equipped with rated smoke compartments.  Rather, evacuation from one smoke compartment to another is acceptable along with vertical evacuation downward within the facility, when applicable.
  • A sequenced evacuation drill can be conducted when a building has multiple wings or multiple floors.
  • Stand-ins or “actors” cannot be used in replacement of real SNF or ALF residents during evacuation drills.

If you have any questions, or need additional information, please contact Stan Szpytek, AHCA Life Safety and Disaster Planning Consultant at Stan@azhca.org of 708.707.6363.