HHSC reminds long-term care facilities and agencies to review and update safety procedures and emergency plans for extreme weather. Emergency plans for extreme weather should include the provider’s plan to address:
- Power loss
- Water and food needs
- Communication to families and staff
- Staffing shortages
- Sheltering in place and evacuation as applicable
Providers must follow emergency preparedness rules and their own internal emergency preparedness policies and procedures.
Facilities with generators should perform any maintenance or needed testing. This will ensure the equipment functions in case of power loss.
It is important to review building integrity and identify any areas that may need repair, reinforcement or weatherproofing. Facilities in multi-story buildings should review any other needed measures as well. They should also have a plan in place for how to move residents around or out of the building if there is a loss of power or other identified need to move to a safer location.
Facilities should contact their local HHSC Regulatory Services regional office (RO) if they are impacted by an adverse event caused by severe weather — such as flooding, power loss, etc.
This communication is especially critical if a facility is projected to exceed its licensed capacity due to accepting residents that have been evacuated from another facility. All requests to exceed licensed capacity must be made through the RO and approved by the Deputy Associate Commissioner of Survey and Compliance.
Program rules require specific staff or a designee of each program to register with the emergency communication system and respond to requests through the emergency communication system. Please refer to PL 2022-32 for instructions and additional information regarding the emergency communication system requirements.