Extreme Weather: Preparation is Key
With the weather dipping into low digits and even below zero this winter, our Environmental and Maintenance departments are working round-the-clock to ensure the safety of our residents and staff.
To deal with severe cold, heat and weather, our Chief Clinical Officer Ron Anglo and Director of Facilities Marc Richard implement a “Code Black,” which means that we take extraordinary measures to keep our residents safe. “Our organization is prepared and ready for any pending storms and situations,” explains Marc Richard. “Each campus is setup with an approved Emergency Preparedness Plan for all possible emergencies that may occur.” The plan is then reviewed CMS, the state, and the local Fire Department. Marc pointed out that the staff is notified days ahead of possible extreme weather so they can review their Emergency Preparedness Plan and prepare for all aspects of impact that could affect the campus.
Advance planning has proved to be a very effective strategy. For example, there were no repercussions from the late January blizzard because the staff were so well-prepared. Every employee pitched in and did their part. In fact, many went above and beyond to help maintain proper staffing as well as ensure the comfort level of the residents. “I am so very proud of our staff and the pride they take in keeping everyone safe during these extreme times,” commented Richard.
Below is overview of the steps our organization takes when weather conditions get severe. It’s imperative that we take the necessary precautions to protect our residents and staff. Thank you to Ron, Marc and the entire team for your hard work, dedication and attention to detail. You are the real heroes/heroines this winter!
Code Black Procedures:
- No outside facility-sponsored activities will be held. Scheduled trips should be postponed, if possible.
- Outside appointments will be limited for medical reasons and dialysis only. Our residents need to be clothed properly if they do have medical appointments.
- Short terms leave of absences are discouraged for the safety of our residents.
- Staff to check all rooms to make sure all our residents have adequate heating. Maintenance directors will make the rounds to make sure that there are no open windows and all heating systems are working.
- On-call maintenance staff will be ready to come in when needed during after office hours.
- Staff educators and supervisors will educate our staff about proper procedures.
- Staff will provide hourly checks on all residents and exit doors.
- Executive Directors will issue frequent reports about the status of the building and its residents at the end of every shift. Constant communication among staff is crucial.
- Space will be designated for staff members who might have to stay at the residence overnight as well as arrangements for staff transportation.
- The organization needs to remain vigilant and make sure that all of our residents safe.