When an emergency occurs, a comprehensive plan of action can avoid confusion, injury and property damage. Operators need to be proactive; plan for emergencies and ensure staff and residents are clear about what to do in an emergency.
Operators are responsible for creating a comprehensive emergency response plan, ensuring emergency measures are in place and providing resident access to first aid at all times.
An emergency response plan needs to describe:
- Accessible emergency procedures to be followed, specific to the residence - to mitigate, respond to and recover from an emergency
- The procedures to follow in an emergency drill and how often to conduct a drill
- Evacuation procedures, including any supports residents require to evacuate or move to a safer location; and
- How residents will continue to receive adequate hospitality services and assisted living services during and following an emergency
Appropriate emergency measures need to be in place. These include:
- Emergency exits and an emergency drill system
- Posting evacuation procedures and a diagram of emergency exits in common areas and near exits
- Reliable communication equipment (i.e., a cell phone or a satellite phone) is accessible to staff
- Fire protection equipment, such as fire extinguishers, that is inspected, tested and maintained as per the BC Fire Code; and
- Conducting emergency drills
Operators need to provide access to first aid help at all times, including:
- Residents having access to an employee who holds a valid first aid and CPR certificate
- Employees having access to first aid supplies
Operators need to be prepared to respond to an overdose if their resident population is at risk. Operators need to:
- Risk assess the population
- Develop a policy that describes how to prevent and how to respond to an overdose
- Have supplies of Naloxone readily accessible to all employees and residents, in case of an opioid overdose
- Train all employees to administer Naloxone
- Provide information to all residents about how to administer Naloxone
Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.
Naloxone is a medication that quickly reverses the effects of an overdose from opioids.