Requirements for Written Emergency Preparedness and Response Plans


The state licensing rules give minimum requirements for the written emergency preparedness and response plan that each type of licensed provider must have. Medicare certified hospice or home health agencies, intermediate care facilities for individuals with an intellectual disability or related condition, and Medicare or Medicaid certified nursing facilities also must comply with federal emergency preparedness requirements, including training and testing program requirements. For all applicable federal requirements, guidance, and survey protocol, please refer to Appendix Z (PDF) of the State Operational Manual.

The state licensing requirements include the following:

Facility-Based Providers

The written emergency preparedness and response plan must address, at a minimum, eight core functions:

  • Direction and control
  • Warning
  • Communication
  • Sheltering arrangements
  • Evacuation
  • Transportation
  • Health and medical needs
  • Resource management

You can find detailed requirements for these providers in the Texas Administrative Code:

Home and Community Support Services Agencies

The emergency preparedness and response plan of a home and community support service agency (HCSSA) must include the following (For more detailed requirements, read 26 TAC Section 558.256):

  • An employee and at least one alternate employee designated by title, to act as the agency’s disaster coordinator.
  • A continuity of operations business plan that addresses emergency financial needs, essential functions for client services, critical personnel, and how to return to normal operations as quickly as possible.
  • How the agency will monitor disaster-related news and information, including after hours, weekends and holidays, to receive warnings of imminent or occurring disasters.
  • Procedures to release client information in the event of a disaster.
  • Staff actions and responsibilities in each phase of emergency planning, including mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
  • Communication modes and procedures.
  • Client triage procedures.
  • Procedures for identifying clients in need of evacuation assistance.

The agency is also required to discuss certain information regarding emergency preparedness with the client.

Hospice Inpatient Units

In addition to the requirements outlined in 26 TAC Section 558.256, a hospice inpatient unit must address the following core functions of emergency management in its written emergency preparedness and response plan, as described in Section 558.871(a)(2):

  • Direction and control
  • Communication
  • Resource management
  • Sheltering in place
  • Evacuation
  • Transportation
  • Training

For additional information and resources on HCSSA emergency preparedness, refer to the HCSSA Emergency Preparedness webpage on the HHSC HCSSA provider portal website. There you will find related links to 2-1-1 Texas, the Texas Online disaster response portal, and many other resources.