Emergency readiness and response the status of area agencies on aging
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Emergency Readiness and Response: The Status of Area Agencies on Aging. Robert L. (Bob) McFalls, M.Div. Chief Operating Officer National Association of Area Agencies on Aging AIRS Conference May 24, 2010 Rochester, New York. Acknowledgments.

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Emergency Readiness and Response: The Status of Area Agencies on Aging

Robert L. (Bob) McFalls, M.Div.

Chief Operating Officer

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

AIRS Conference

May 24, 2010

Rochester, New York


Acknowledgments

Funding for this project provided through AoA grant 90AM3126 to n4a

Survey development, data collection, analysis and figure development conducted by Scripps Gerontology Center

For further information:

Abigail Morgan, Program Manager, n4a ([email protected])

Robert McFalls, C.O.O., n4a ([email protected])

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Washington, D.C.

http://www.n4a.org/pdf/Emergency2009Final.pdf


Plan for Today

  • Background

  • Survey of Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs)

  • Findings

  • Implications & Challenges for the Aging Services Network


Older Adults and Emergencies

  • Disproportional death rates in Katrina (64% of deaths age 65+)

  • Less likely to be willing to evacuate

  • Adults 55+ least personally prepared for disaster

  • High reliance on first responders

  • A third of those with a disability or caring for someone with a disability would need extra help

  • Chronic conditions may be worsened in an emergency

  • Medications, medical care present challenges


How do we think about disasters?

  • Disaster is “when routines…are seriously disrupted and when unplanned courses of action have to be undertaken to cope with the crisis” (Quarentelli, 2000).

  • “there is no such thing as a “natural” disaster. In every phase and aspect of a disaster…the difference between who lives and who dies is to a greater or lesser extent a social calculus “(Smith, 2006).

  • Preparedness prevents emergencies from becoming disasters.

  • AAA preparedness involves services to older adults and preparedness as a business entity


Hazards/Disaster Catalysts

  • Dam Failure

  • Earthquake

  • Fire or Wildfire

  • Flood

  • Hazardous Material

  • Heat

  • Hurricane

  • Landslide

  • Nuclear Power Plant Emergency

  • Pandemic Influenza

  • Terrorism

  • Thunderstorm

  • Tornado

  • Tsunami

  • Volcano

  • Winter Storm


One

Two

Three

States with Federal Major Disaster Declarations, 2008


Assessing Preparedness of AAAs

  • Purpose-Developed Survey

    • n4a Advisory Council

    • AAA Directors

    • AoA Project Managers

    • AoA Office of Preparedness and Response

  • Focus on

    • What programs/policies/provisions they had in place

    • What elements were covered in their emergency plans

    • Perceptions about or experience with their plans

    • Needs for the future


AAA Survey

  • Internet Survey—May 2009

  • All 629 AAAs invited to participate via e-mail

  • Survey in the field 3 weeks

  • 58.6% response rate (N=369)


Findings—Plan Participation

  • Three-quarters are part of one emergency plan (local, SUA, other statewide)

  • About 2/3 (64.5%) are part of a local plan

  • About 1/3 (33.9%) are part of an SUA plan

  • Only 7 out of 100 (7.3 %) did not have a plan


What does the plan include?


Challenges for Future Plans

  • Collaborations with nursing homes and assisted living facilities (only about ¼ have this)

  • Planning for pets (less than 20% have this)

  • Plans for obtaining essential back-up supplies (over half, but not all have this)

  • Of 11 plan elements, average was 5


Communications in a Disaster


Important Locations


Business Practices


Maintaining Services


Maintaining Services (cont.)


Experience with Disasters

  • About one-quarter (90 AAAs) had been part of federally declared disaster

  • How well did their systems work?

  • Only 3 out of 90 rated their plans as “least effective”

  • Over half said their plans were “effective”(52.4%)

  • Only 2 said their plans were “most effective”


Confidence Among those with No Recent Experience

  • How confident are you about your organization’s capacity to respond? (n=366)

  • Over 1 in 10 (11.5%) were not at all confident

  • Over half (53%) were somewhat confident

  • Over 1/3 were confident (28.1%) or very confident (7.4%)


Challenges for the Future

  • AAAs would like training/technical assistance in the following:

    • Process for obtaining immediate $$ to respond

    • Best practices for different types of disasters

    • Establishing external communication systems

    • Establishing roles and responsibilities with their partners and other local organizations

    • Processes for tracking disaster-related expenses


Strengths of AAA Preparedness

  • Highly involved in planning

  • Multiple components to their plans

  • Almost all (only 8 do not) review their plans at least yearly

  • Survey process had an educational element


Questions?

  • Abigail Morgan, [email protected]

  • Robert McFalls, [email protected]

  • www.n4a.org/programs/annual-survey

  • www.scrippsaging.org


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