RHA Emergency Planning: Preparedness, Response, Mitigation and Recovery

Below is helpful information to help RHA Units prepare, respond, mitigate and recover from an emergency like a hurricane.

Unit 'To-Do's Before A Disaster Strikes
  • Please refer to your Emergency Operations plan.  Appendix B will have the key information you need.
  • Identify your incident commander.
  • Ensure your staff are aware of their responsibilities.
  • Be ready to institute your emergency evacuation plan, if needed.
  • Reach out to your MCO's, Regional Coalitions, etc.  They will be able to connect you to resources.
  • Start reaching out to family members of the people we serve and support.

Where to Stay
  • Are other evacuation considerations needed? Note: Hotels may start to fill, so be ready to rely on our internal resources.
  • Considerations include: Vocational Centers, Empty beds in other homes, Respite home in Gastonia, Co-op in Charlotte, PSR’s, Gyms at Large Centers, LaGrange and Raleigh Offices, Closed BH offices.
Staffing Considerations
  • It is critical to assure adequate staff scheduled to assure rotation for sleeping. Get creative on schedules – may need to do 12 hour shifts, considerations for staff to bring families.
  • Assure tanks are full and based on area consider suspending unnecessary travel.
  • Bottled/Palatable water and food – consider special diets, non-perishable food, must include enough for staff
Prevent Damage To Computers/Equipment/Records
  • Protection of records, use plastic bags or cover with plastic and elevate from floor level if possible.
  • Cover computers and Polycoms
  • If power goes out or if relocating consideration for progress notes and timekeeping will go to manual.
  • If you have any personal computers sitting directly on the floor please try and place the computer on a desk or elevate the device. This can be done with a small stool, chair, etc. 
  • If all of your computer devices are plugged into one power strip, simply unplug your power strip before you leave during the storm. 
  • Unplug all other cords for items such as printers, copiers, or other electrical devices, etc from the wall outlet and place so that they do not hit the floor. 
  • Telco/Equipment Closet –before you leave during the storm, please make sure your primary equipment is down in your telco/equipment closet. The only thing typically that needs to be unplugged is the power cable to the UPS. Do not start unplugging all your devices in this closet. If you are not sure of what you should unplug please reach out to your local area tech for guidance. If you need any assistance with questions please let me know.

If Evacuating the Facility
  • Cut-off utilities (water and air)
  • If possible inform neighbors
  • Lock all doors, close windows and blinds
  • Assure you have a map for the route of evacuation and that management knows the time you left, the route taken and notify them upon arrival.
  • If leaving the facility take the weather-band radio with you.
  • Assure mode of communication and when using cell phones assures chargers for the vehicle, wall chargers and battery/solar pack chargers if possible.
  • Consider leaving a note on the kitchen table of your whereabouts.
  • Take a copy of your facility specific plan, it has all the emergency numbers including family members and staff.
  • Utilize your emergency checklist or black box suggested items list. This list includes emergency supplies, medications, special dietary considerations, clothing and basic necessities. Do forget cash, quarters, and a small bottle of laundry detergent.
  • Take large and small Ziploc baggies – they can be used to protect important paperwork, store leftovers, keep snacks, etc.
  • Take limited recreation supplies, cards, games, magazines
  • Depending on evacuation site consider pillows, blankets, linens, sleeping bags, air mattresses
  • Upon arrival at the relocation site, either conduct a fire drill, assure smoke detectors are in place, and know the evacuation routes.

If Sheltering in Place
  • Notify your local emergency management that you plan to stay at the facility
  • Locate your emergency supplies
  • Assure you have adequate food and water
  • Assure you have adequate medical supplies
  • Keep your weather-band radio on and engaged at all times watching closely for changing conditions
  • Assure your EOP is accessible
  • Make sure the tank is full of gas
  • Make sure you have a mod of communication
  • Communicate with your neighbors and let them know you’re sheltering in place
  • Have a HELP sign and tape should you need emergency assistance
  • Be prepared to evacuate should the need arise
  • This is not an exhaustive list and reference your emergency plan for your facility specific and comprehensive planning
  • If your facility or home suffers damage you may contact Carla Brown at 828-231-4324, Angie Pace at 828-398-6223, Karen Bowdle at 252-560-2411 or for owned properties.
  • RHA has a Red Alert agreement with Belfor and you can call Patrick Brown at 919-630-5276 or the call center at 800-856-3333. If you contact the call center please reference RHA Health Services.
Flooded Roadways
  • Remind staff not to drive through flooded roadways or over downed power lines.
Stay Calm - Be Alert!
  • Last but certainly not least, stay calm, be alert, use caution and do it the safe way!