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Nursing home evacuations during last year’s hurricanes flawed

A report to be issued today by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services calls for tighter rules in nursing home evacuations like those from last year’s hurricanes.

Of the nursing homes surveyed, some had no guidelines on deciding whether to evacuate, no instructions about how much food and water to bring, no method for assigning staff members to make the trip, no procedures for transporting medications, no suggestions on alternate evacuation routes if highways were clogged, no arrangements with a host facility and no plans for how and when to return. The report also found that the nursing homes could not get the help they needed from local officials because there were no formal partnerships.

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