Leaders from state emergency command centers and long-term care organizations in the Southeast convened last month to release criteria for nursing home evacuations. 
The guidelines support the recommendations of the April 2008 Government Accountability Office report, which provide specific recommendations to support nursing homes and other long-term care facilities facing evacuation decisions during natural disasters. The release took place in Orlando during the third annual Hurricane Summit, a joint effort of nine Southeastern states. Evacuation problems following Hurricane Katrina prompted the criteria.
“While many lessons were learned from Hurricane Katrina, the most significant revelation for those who care about elders was the absence of an integrated response plan for those living in nursing homes,” said LuMarie Polivka-West, of the Florida Healthcare Association.
For a copy of the guidelines, go to www.fhca.org.