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Disaster Preparedness Assessment

The Disaster Preparedness Assessment (DPA) is a first-of-its-kind evaluation process designed to provide a comprehensive analysis of a facility's disaster preparedness programs and emergency contingencies. This detailed assessment is conducted by well-seasoned professionals who have extensive experience and certifications in fire protection, life-safety code enforcement, emergency medical services and homeland security.

The DPA is a multi-discipline process that utilizes document review, inventory analysis, human resources assessment and a physical plant survey to provide a comprehensive evaluation of a facility's state of readiness as well as compliance with recommended practices pertaining to disaster planning and recovery programs.

While most facilities focus on immediate and common threats like fire and severe weather, a great majority of operations fail to adequately prepare for other potential perils such as bioterrorism, hazardous material spill, pandemic threat, workplace violence, nuclear power accident, etc. and do not utilize a standard emergency management model to appropriately respond to these crisis and disaster situations. The DPA will evaluate a facility's ability to respond to “All Hazards” and its utilization of nationally recognized programs like the Incident Command System (ICS) as promoted in the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

While a typical emergency preparedness evaluation conducted within the boundaries of a Risk Control Analysis may briefly touch upon the critical topic of disaster preparedness, the DPA is an extremely detail-oriented process that will give facility administration, corporate management, insurance officials and underwriters a realistic impression of how capable an operation is in preparing for, responding to and recovering from critical incidents that may result in serious losses.

The EM Alliance DPA is a revolutionary assessment protocol that will give decision-makers an unbiased and objective evaluation of a property's vulnerabilities and strengths. In addition, the DPA protocol will provide detailed recommendations to help a facility develop reliable programs in step with proposed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines and recommended practices like those promoted by The Joint Commission (JC), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Full review and utilization of recommendations provided by the DPA can help a facility implement plans and programs that may potentially save lives, avert costly business interruption, avoid litigation and maintain continuity of operations before, during and after a crisis or disaster situation.

Read DPA Overview article.

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On-Site Life Safety Assessment (LSA)

EM Alliance has expanded its menu of services to include an on-site Life Safety Assessment (LSA) process. The LSA is modeled after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service's (CMS) “Fire Safety Survey 2000 — Healthcare” evaluation process, and assessments are conducted by experienced fire and life safety professionals.

The LSA is a specialized service that can be utilized as part of the Plan of Correction process following a poor survey or in advance of a survey at a facility to help ensure preparation for compliance, as well as utilization of best practices. Additionally, the service can be used following an adverse event like a fire or other critical incident, or when a facility's administration wishes to reveal opportunities for improvement.

During a full one-day assessment, our consultant evaluates all elements of the facility's fire and life safety program. The service includes comprehensive interviews with leadership staff, a detailed evaluation (inspection) of all elements of the physical plant, review of written emergency procedures and interview with select staff members to help assess proficiency pertaining to emergency response procedures.

After the on-site visit, the consultant develops a written report of assessment findings, including recommendations to enhance risk management practices. The assessment report is modeled after CMS's evaluation process and includes correlation to applicable K Tags. Upon completion, the report is sent to the client within 30 to 45 days of the order. Rush orders can be processed with reports completed within seven to 10 days from the point of order.

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Disaster Plan Desktop Audit

The Disaster Plan Desktop Audit (DPDA) is a unique and comprehensive service that examines a facility's or organization's written disaster plan or emergency operations manual and assesses the document on multiple levels of plan presentation as well as plan defensibility.

This detailed process is completed by our experienced Emergency Preparedness Specialists who have extensive backgrounds in emergency planning, management, response, recovery and code compliance. The service assesses the submitted disaster plan on 34 critical points of plan structure. Some of the areas of review include:

  • General appearance and organization
  • Utilization of “All Hazards” planning and management
  • Records of approval, changes, distribution and updates
  • Integration of an Incident Management System (Incident Command System)
  • National Incident Management System (NIMS)
  • Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP)
  • Emergency resources and contact information
  • Hazard Vulnerability Assessment (HVA)
  • Collaboration and cooperation with other entities
  • Specific emergency procedures (fire, flood, earthquake, terror, pandemic, etc.)
  • Recovery protocols

Upon completion of the review, the client will be provided with a comprehensive report that cites the plan's strengths, vulnerabilities and areas in need of improvement. Individual recommendations are provided for each line-item evaluated that are determined to be deficient or in need of improvement.

The submittal will be graded on Plan Presentation utilizing a scale of excellent, satisfactory and poor and Plan Defensibility utilizing a scale of strong, moderate and weak.

Leaders in healthcare organizations often realize that their disaster plans and emergency operations manuals are in need of review and improvement. This unique process provides an objective review by qualified evaluators and measures the plan in accordance with Best Practices and current emergency management trends.

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Emergency Preparedness Planning and Resource Manual

The Emergency Preparedness Planning and Resource Manual is a facility's guide to creating a customized disaster and emergency plan. Starting with a hazard and vulnerability assessment, the manual helps the facility customize a plan fitting the facility's needs from assessment to after-incident recovery and plan maintenance. This thorough manual also includes a CD to actually create a customized plan that can be printed out and distributed within a facility. In conjunction with the DPA, the Emergency Preparedness Planning and Resource Manual is a necessary tool for disaster and emergency planning. Click here to download the brochure, which includes a price list.

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Fire–Life Safety Assessment

Are you prepared for a fire in your facility?

If a fire were to occur in your facility tomorrow, here are some important questions you need to ask:

  • Are the best systems in place to provide early detection of a smoke condition or fire within the facility?
  • When an alarm sounds, is it adequately monitored and is an appropriate response always initiated by your staff?
  • Are the best systems in place to provide complete fire suppression coverage in your facility?
  • Does a “Grandfather Clause” leave your facility vulnerable to potential injury, death and significant losses?
  • Has your staff become complacent with training and participation in drills?
  • Is your facility maintained in a condition that eliminates all potential hazards and fire causes?
  • Are you prepared to deal with the investigation, clean-up, recovery and potential litigation associated with a fire in your facility?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it's time to consider having fire safety specialists working for you, not against you.

It is clear that there are a multitude of inspectors and surveyors telling you what's wrong, but have you ever engaged resources to tell you how to improve fire safety, loss control and emergency preparedness within your facility?

EM Alliance can provide your facility with experienced fire and life safety specialists who will help you identify potential exposures/vulnerabilities and work with your staff on developing solid programs that will help safeguard patients, residents, staff and visitors as well protect your company from potential losses and liability.

EM Alliance has developed a customized Fire–Life Safety Assessment (FLSA) process to comprehensively evaluate all elements of a facility's fire and life safety programs including detailed inspection and review of building construction, installed systems, housekeeping practices, storage practices, human resources, training and drills.

By working with specialists who can help you identify and reduce risk specifically related to a fire or life safety emergency, you can prepare your facility for an incident that may only turn out to be a minor inconvenience rather than a terrible tragedy.

Fires occur in nursing homes and assisted living facilities every day. Is your facility prepared?

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Security Vulnerability Assessments

Put a camera here... install an alarm there... add more guards here... prohibit parking there...

The list of quick fixes goes on and on. It is seen in facilities all the time. Now more than ever, healthcare facilities, including long term care, have become very security conscious. Recent events have triggered concerns across the nation. Yet, few facilities have the qualified resources available to truly assess the efficacy of their program, identify where opportunities to improve exist and effectively achieve the needed improvements. As a result, facilities often end up spending tens of thousands of dollars on hardware, software and other well-intended solutions that may not have been necessary.

EM Alliance partner Sorensen, Wilder & Associates (SWA) has been helping healthcare facilities improve their safety and security programs since 1990. SWA starts with a comprehensive assessment performed by qualified healthcare security professionals. After the assessment, the facility will be provided with a detailed analysis of the findings. SWA will then work with the facility's management team to effect improvements. SWA does not believe in the use of “boiler plate” programs. Every healthcare facility that is visited is unique, and services are customized to meet the needs of each facility on an individual basis.

SWA has been successful helping their healthcare clients save money, cut their losses and most of all, maximize safety and security for employees, physicians, patients and visitors. There has never been a more appropriate time to address your facility's safety and security issues. It only takes one negative incident to quickly erode your patient or resident base and destroy your good name and good reputation in the community.