National Preparedness Month: Prepare to Protect

National Preparedness Month is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. The 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” For the first time in its history, the Ready Campaign, in partnership with the Ad…

National Preparedness Month: Prepare to Protect

National Preparedness Month is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. The 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”

For the first time in its history, the Ready Campaign, in partnership with the Ad Council, identified the Hispanic community as a key audience, and will launch a series of Public Service Advertisements specifically designed to encourage preparedness within the underserved demographic.

Weekly Themes

Each week in September, the campaign will focus on a different aspect of preparedness for individuals, families and communities.

Week 1 September 1-4: Make A Plan

Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to the coronavirus.

Week 2 September 5-11: Build A Kit

Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home.  Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.

Week 3 September 12-18: Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness

Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family.  Know the risk of disasters in your area. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards.  Check your insurance coverage to make sure it is up-to-date.

Week 4 September 19-25: Teach Youth About Preparedness

Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

Other valuable preparedness resources from the Adminstration for Community Living:

  1. Emergency Preparedness | ACL Administration for Community Living
  2. Emergency Response | ACL Administration for Community Living
  3. Emergency Information: Communication for People with a Disability (acl.gov)
  4. Important Medical Information Card to Alert 1st Responders (acl.gov)

Also, be sure to check the National Preparedness Month website for more updates.

HHS to Evaluate Home Health Agencies on Emergency Communication Plans

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has included in their workplan a report to evaluate home health agencies’ (HHA) compliance with Emergency Preparedness Conditions of Participation (EP CoPs). The report is expected to be issued in 2023. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and fires…

CMS Releases Updated Emergency Preparedness Guidance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released emergency preparedness (EP) guidance for surveyors, as well as providers and suppliers, with assessing a facility’s compliance with the EP requirements. Both home health agencies and hospice providers must conduct exercises to test the emergency plan at least annually, and both inpatient and outpatient providers that activate…

CMS Updates Emergency Preparedness Guidance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released Updated Guidance for Emergency Preparedness-Appendix Z of the State Operations Manual (SOM), updates that incorporate the emergency preparedness (EP) revisions of the 2019 “Burden Reduction Rule”, Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Regulatory Provisions to Promote Program Efficiency, Transparency, and Burden Reduction (CoPs) (CMS 3346-F) Final Rule…

Reporting Requirements for Home Health & Hospice Affected by Hurricane Laura

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting exceptions under certain Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs to home health agencies located in areas affected by Hurricane Laura due to the devastating impact of the storm. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting exceptions under certain Medicare quality reporting…

CMS Releases Clarifying Memo Regarding Emergency Preparedness Requirements

The Quality, Safety, and Oversight Group (QSOG) of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released memo QSO-20-41-ALL Guidance related to the Emergency Preparedness Testing Exercise Requirements- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This memo provides guidance on meeting emergency preparedness testing requirements in light of many of the response activities associated with the COVID-19…

CMS Updates State Operations Manual Appendices

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated the appendices of the State Operations Manual (SOM) to include regulatory revisions based on recent federal regulation changes that are part of the Omnibus Burden Reduction (CMS-3346-F; CMS-3334-F; CMS-3295-F; CMS3277-CN).  See previous NAHC coverage here  for a summary of the provisions of this rule. The SOM…

Changes to Emergency Preparedness Requirements

A recent final rule released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) relating to burden reduction includes welcome changes to emergency preparedness requirements.  The final rule, Regulatory Provisions to Promote Program Efficiency, Transparency, and Burden Reduction; Fire Safety Requirements for Certain Dialysis Facilities; Hospital and Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Changes to Promote Innovation,…

Emergency Preparedness Webinar Series Concludes with Lessons on Communications and Training

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and RBC Limited Healthcare & Management Consultants are presenting a critical new four-part webinar series on how to prepare your agency for the new 2019 interpretive guidelines in emergency preparedness. The series will be led by a nationally-recognized expert on emergency preparedness for home health and hospice, Barbara B.…