Emergency Preparedness

Revised January 2018

Relevant Legislation

not applicable

 

Intent

LOFT Community Services is prepared to respond to emergency situations that present a risk  to employees, clients and affiliates, property and/or service interruptions. LOFT will demonstrate accountability for emergency planning and sets out standards and methods of performance evaluation to ensure any risk is minimized.

 

Definitions

Not applicable

 

Policy

Every LOFT program requires a emergency preparedness plan.  Staff will refer to the Health and Safety manual and utilize their program’s procedures to ensure that LOFT staff are competent throughout the emergency and that the organization maintains health and safety of its clients and staff and can continue essential services in its emergency procedures.

 

LOFT  programs need to be prepared when an emergency occurs within the immediate geographic vicinity of the program. The ability to improvise or to “make do’ will often see a program through any crisis. However, this does not mean that foresight or planning should not be applied before a crisis arrives. Being prepared will make any situation easier to deal with, and this document is intended as a general guide or generic checklist for emergency preparedness. It will need to be tailored to the specifics of each program location.

 

Every program of LOFT will have the following in place, catered to the individual needs of their programs and communicated to service users at point of entry to the program and on a regular basis after enrollment.  There should be written procedures in each program relating to:

  • Fires (evacuation plan, fire fighting equipment such as extinguishers, primary place of safety, regular inspections of fire equipment, fire codes, etc.)
  • A clear evacuation plan that considers the individualized needs of those to be evacuated and responsiblities of staff, staff assignments, attendance rosters, designated assembly area, notifying personnel if individuals are not present at the designated assembly area,  temporary shelter plans if that is required, transportation needs, and designating essential services)
  • A pandemic plan for each program site (please see Pandemic Planning Policy)
  • Bomb threats (a check list for those answer the phone who may get a phone call where there is a bomb threat, how to engage with Police to trace repeated calls, evacuation plan and site for temporary evacuation.  If a site is required, a signed letter of agreement with the site’s owner is required annually).
  • Critical products, services and operations for potential emergencies and back up systems at each program site.
  • Natural disasters (including emergency supplies, medication)
  • Utility failures (Cooking and eating requirements, emergency kits, battery packs, plan for primary location for persons served).
  • Medical emergencies (individualized documentation of medical needs and histories available if there is a power outage and client database cannot be accessed, CPR training, etc.)
  • Violent or other threatening situations (please see Dangerous Situtations policy)
  • Staff should be aware of the blueprint of the facility including exits, water shutoffs, stairways, gas valves, air conditioning ducts, sotrm drains, electrical cutoffs, etc.

Emergency management plan components include direction and control, communications, life safety, property protection, community resources, recovery and restoration, administration, and logistics.  This may include checklists, specific emergency response procedures for potential situations, call lists, site maps, resource lists and designated responsibility lists, and training schedule.

STAFF ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES and TRAINING

  • Staff will be trained on the Emergency Preparedness policy and procedures annually.
  • Staff will follow evacuation and emergency procedures specific to each site.
  • Emergency numbers will be posted for staff and service users in an easily accessible location.
  • Each program should have petty cash on hand sufficient to make emergency purchases or to cover basic living expenses for several days;
  • In anticipation of an emergency situation  may be a likely outcome – special arrangements must be considered for certain residents/clients to spend time with family members, friends, other service providers to ensure the continuity of any life support needs.

Unannounced tests of all emergency procedures:

Tests for (1) fires, (2) bomb threats, (3)natural disasters, (4)utility failures, (5)medical emergencies and (6) threatenings situations should be conducted at least annually on each shift, at each location that is a hub of service and include simulated physical evacuation drills.   The program director is responsible to analyse for performance improvement and improve the current practice is required.  The dates of drills, the staff responsible and performance analysis  should be evidenced in writing.

 

Procedure

Please see program manual for Emergency Preparedness Procedure and relevant emergency preparedness plans.