Crisis & Disaster Planning in Human Services Presented by Kathryn Dyjak, Deputy CommissionerNew York City Human Resources Administration San Diego, CA. October 8, 2013
HOW THE HUMAN SERVICE AGENCY’S ROLE IS EVOLVING • How do you prepare in advance with limited resources and TIME? • Present plans easy to implement? • Is it just about basic benefits? • Who really are your key players in an emergency?
HRA and Super Storm Sandy • 2 centers that, with around the clock work, reopened in a week • Main administrative building -25 floor office building flooded • 7 facilities lost power • Find alternative work sites for over 3,000 staff displaced for over 3 months • Provided staff to an emergency shelter system prior to landfall and for weeks afterwards • Staff out with FEMA within a day at 7 locations and prior to power and subway restoration • Within 10 days, set up 6 facility-based centers across the city that operated 8am-8pm for several months • Emergency contract for 719,700 prepared meals served at a 8 sites • In addition to auto replacement in first month, processed more than 100,000 applications from households that applied for additional SNAP replacement benefits for second month. • Operated a DSNAP program
Agency-Wide Goals During an Emergency • Core functions/benefits are operational • TANF, MA, SNAP, Child Support • Vulnerable population groups are safe • home care, APS, HASA, DV • Support broader initiatives in the community • Food Distribution/Access • Disaster Assistance Centers/RC’s • Point of Distributions for Medication/Vaccines • Family Assistance Centers when fatalities involve 10 or more potential deaths
PLANNING IN ADVANCE 1) Core functions/benefits are operational • Waiver Playbook • What functions need to be prioritized?- centers back up, checks to clients and npo’s, turning off automated systems that negatively impact clients • Back up supplies in separate locations- ie extra Medicaid cards, manual checks, special rubber stamps 2) Vulnerable population groups are safe • Service Contracts • include emergency procedures and auditing on them • making sure CM systems that allow all users to input status daily • Clients/Recipients- pre-identifying those in evacuation areas through data matches, those relying on machines needing power, medication that must be refrigerated, etc,
PLANNING IN ADVANCE (continued) 3) Support broader initiatives in the community • Funding- understanding funding mechanisms of different agencies (federal reimbursed line) • Colleagues – who does what and when • Emergency contracts that can be flipped on • Electronics: dual headsets for language line, tablets versus laptops, cell phones, blackberries, copiers, etc. • Hot food distribution: Out in the community, specialized shelters • Case management by non-profits? • Language • Translation of key documents in advance- replacement of driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, etc. • Mapped out languages of population over Evacuation Zone 1
PLANNING IN ADVANCE ACROSS ALL 3 MAJOR GOALS Sandy reminded of the importance of ….. Communication Plan for Staff Staff phone trees Geographic area of staff Police radios and blackberries for those in field Test putting notices up on system for staff (pass codes!) Buy-In from Across the Agency Institutionalize “after action” process- bring together quarterly Facilities, security, transportation, personnel, immigrant group, communications, previous crisis leads, finance, contracts, MIS Pre-Identified Staff Language ability Training Personnel and Finance to set up system/ guidance for easier billing later Easy access to key documents Ready To Go Book Streamline Plans into Playbooks that can be easily followed Shared drive (share point site) for an emergency
Playbook Format • Quick review of its purpose • Activation triggers • Decision makers • Agencies/entities that implement • Guide checklist of likely actions to follow and who does what • Pre-identified likely initial resources and on-going • Needed forms (ie data collection, site selection specs, likely equipment) • Pre-identified types of services and who can provide
Ready to Go Book • Key info about facilities • Locations, capacities, flood zones, programs • Staff lists including home # and borough and languages • How to change emergency staff call information remotely and any needed codes • Colleagues in other agencies and federal contact information • Key plans/playbooks • Agency emergency equipment, locations, and combinations
DURING AN EVENT Core functions/benefits are operational • Waivers and Easements- turn to playbook: Medicaid (MA) • All closings in process stopped and were re-implemented 2 months later. • Cases due to expire in Nov. or Dec., 2012 received an automatic 2 month extension. • No case was closed for failure to respond to a renewal or other request for information. • New applicants were given an additional 7 days to respond to any request for additional information. • Suspension of negative budget actions (increases in surplus amounts consumers required to pay). • Medicaid Pay-In Program provided coverage for persons whose impacted medical provider attests in writing that services remain in place and meet the surplus. Home Care, Personal Care Services (PCS), etc • 30 day extension of current authorization for PCS due to expire in November - January. • Extend of acceptance of physician orders to 60 days from the date of examination for PCS authorizations. • Relaxation of required timeframes for RN supervision for PCS. • Permission for HRA to grant case by case exceptions to Nursing Home applicants requesting additional time to produce documentation. • Payment of premiums without an invoice for those actively participating in the Third Party Premium Payment Program as of October, 2012. Cash Assistance and SNAP • During storm and initial recovery, no case closings or other adverse actions taken for missed appointments. • Re-certifications due at the end of month and next, each extended a month to allow time to complete.
DURING AN EVENT Vulnerable Population Groups are Safe • Advanced Special Needs Warning System, • Call downs and visits prior to event and then daily check-ins with most vulnerable • Heat emergency citywide calls (coordinating with health, con-ed, NWS) • Teams out to locate clients in the community- what support do they need Support broader initiatives in the community • Working with FEMA • Utilized unlikely staff: attorneys, researchers, personnel, legislative • Newly-Vulnerables
THE FUTURE • What is human service agency role?