At Home Nursing Care joined with all local hospitals and hundreds of health care providers last week in an emergency drill with a very realistic scenario.  We pretended a big earthquake in Los Angeles shut down freeways and led to a shortage of supplies being delivered to local communities. Our drill assumed 48 hours had passed since the big quake, and supplies were starting to run low, with intermittent power outages.

All in all, our staff did very well!  Thank you for taking it seriously.

This is what we learned:

  1. The easiest way to get a prescription filled in an emergency is to go physically to the pharmacy – you’ll need the client’s name, birthdate, medical record number for their insurance and address.  Clients should always have a five day supply of medications, so don’t wait until the very last minute for re-fills!
  2. Clients and caregivers should have at least three days’ supply of water to drink and food to eat.
  3. The Agency will have to provide child care in the office in order for caregivers to continue to care for clients – and we will!
  4. There may be cases where we take clients who live apart and move them temporarily under one roof – to deal with staffing shortages.
  5. If a caregiver and client must evacuate, and communication is shut down, the caregiver should leave a note in the home stating when they left, where they are going and how to reach them!
  6. The same is true if a family must remove a client and can’t contact the office, the family should leave a note that the client is safe, who he/she is with, how to reach them, and where they are going.
  7. The Counties of San Diego and Los Angeles will prioritize fuel for the local bus system in a major emergency, so when cars run out of gas, we need to be prepared to use public busses.
  8. The Counties will also set up various charging stations to deal with intermittent power outages, so that people can charge their phones and computers.
  9. Any client with medical needs that rely critically on electricity should have a backup generator at the home.

Please consider your own safety.  Keep a flashlight, extra water, food, a first aid kit, and batteries at a minimum in a safety kit in your own home.  Remember that if an emergency happens, you should send the office a quick next stating where you are, what you need, and whether you can help if you are not on duty!  Thank you all.