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Proposed Rules Address Emergency Preparedness

The Department of Health and Human Services has proposed new rules that establish national emergency preparedness requirements for healthcare providers that participate in Medicare and Medicaid. These new rules are intended to ensure that these facilities are adequately prepared for both natural and man made disasters.  During times of disaster, it is essential that these facilities are ready to meet the needs of their patients.

The Office of the Inspector General found that nursing home response to hurricanes along the Gulf Coast faced problems in both evacuation and shelter in place situations.  One of the major problems encountered was insufficient food and water for residents and staff.  The main contirbution factor to these problems was lack of effective planning and failure to anticipate specific problems.

Proposed rules establish that healthcare facilities must address the need for food, water and medical supplies.  Healthcare facilities are often calle don to provide these basic needs not only to patients but also communiy evacuees, visitors and voulnteers.  The rapid increas of pupulation in a disaster can lead to a fast exhaustion of stored resources.

First Water address these concerns by placing water purification systems on-site and ready to deploy in the event of a water disruption.  Microbiologically safe drinking water can be created from virtually any water source, and solar power eliminates the need for a working grid.

Read more about the proposed rules at at the Federal Register and NY Times