Emergency Preparedness News and Announcements

Utility Outage Electrical/Gas/Water/Technology

CODE: PLAIN SPEECH/TEXT

Defined

Emergencies which include any interruption or loss of a utility service, power source, information system, or equipment needed to keep the residents and employees safe, and maintain facility operations.

Immediate Action

Determine if the loss of a utility (electric, gas, propane, water, etc.) is due to an incident occurring at the facility like a rupture, leak, fire, and/or collision (vehicle striking meter, etc.).

  1. Notify appropriate utility company(s) of the outage and contact 911 if there is an emergency situation.
  2. Review SEVERE WEATHER templates to prevent hypopyrexia during loss of heating functions and hyperpyrexia during loss of cooling functions.
  3. For Gas Line break:
    • Evacuate the building immediately. Follow evacuation procedures.
    • Shut off the main valve.
    • Open windows.
    • Re-enter building only at the direction of utility officials.

Common Staff Assignments

  1. Remain calm not to upset the residents.
  2. Be prepared to activate emergency procedures.

Specific Staff Assignments

  1. Administrator/Incident Commander
    1. Determine the impact of service disruption and projected duration.
    2. Record Emergency Agency contacted: Contact person: When: am/pm
    3. If warranted, activate the ICS to manage the incident. The most qualified staff member (in regard to the Incident Command System) on duty at the time will assume the Incident Commander position. Appoint other positions of the ICS structure as necessary.
    4. Initiate Severe Cold and Hot Weather Procedures if necessary.
    5. Activate the Recall Roster if warranted.
    6. Protect human life, facility, supplies by relocating residents to other floors or areas, removing items from floor that may be in harm’s way.
    7. Initiate Evacuation Emergency Procedures, if outage is long-term and threatens resident safety and welfare.
    8. Ensure staff members and residents are accounted for and safe.
  2. Director of Nursing
    1. Ensure back-up systems (emergency generators, emergency lighting, additional blankets, flashlights, emergency water, etc.) are available and operating as designed in accordance with requirements.
    2. Monitor safety of the residents and staff during severe cold and hot weather during a power outage.
    3. Activate severe weather procedures.
    4. Monitor oxygen & other medical equipment – create policy as needed
    5. Be prepared to activate Evacuation Procedures.
    6. Be prepared to assist where needed at the direction of the Incident Commander.
  3. Nursing Staff
    1. Initiate proactive and preventative measures to safeguard and isolate resources to help preserve said resources (keep doors to refrigerators and freezers closed, keep outside doors closed to maintain air conditioning, etc.).
    2. Monitor resident safety.
    3. Be prepared to activate Evacuation Procedures.
    4. Be prepared to assist where needed at the direction of the IncidentCommander.
  4. Maintenance Personnel
    1. Determine if the loss of a utility (electric, gas, propane, water, etc.) is due to an incident occurring at the facility like a rupture, leak, fire, and/or collision (vehicle striking meter, etc.).
    2. Contact utility providers.
    3. Check to see that fire alarm & response system is operational.
    4. Determine the impact of service disruption and projected duration.
    5. Turn off power at main control point if short is suspected.
    6. Ensure back-up systems (emergency generators, emergency lighting, additional blankets, flashlights, emergency water, etc.) are available and operating as designed in accordance with requirements.
    7. Continuously monitor equipment that may be adversely impacted due to the failure itself (electrical grounding, failure of other systems, etc.) and/or negative circumstances that may occur upon sudden resumption of utility (over-pressurization, power surge, etc.).
    8. Assist with Severe Weather Procedures if necessary.
    9. Be prepared to activate Evacuation Procedures.
    10. Be prepared to assist where needed at the direction of the Incident Commander.
  5. All Other Employees
    1. Ensure back-up systems (emergency generators, emergency lighting, additional blankets, flashlights, emergency water, emergency food, etc.) are available and operating as designed in accordance with requirements.
    2. Initiate Severe Weather Procedures if necessary.
    3. Keep refrigerator storage units for food and medicines closed to retard spoilage.
    4. Be prepared to activate Evacuation Procedures.
    5. Be prepared to assist where needed at the direction of the Incident Commander.

Preparing Ahead/Training

  1. Review emergency utility blueprints, contact info and shutdown procedures.
  2. Identify security and alarm systems, fire, elevators, lighting, life support systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, electrical distribution system, emergency generators, medical gas delivery systems, and other critical systems.
    • Breaker Panel Card copied and attached to emergency plan on (date) .
  3. Determine need for backup systems.
  4. Identify communication systems, both data and voice computer networks.
  5. Create/keep an accurate blueprint of all utility lines and pipes associated with the facility and grounds.
  6. Evaluate backup generator needs. Disseminate info to facility staff regarding what can be run on backup generators
  7. Consider power needs for critical safety and medical equipment, refrigeration, temp control, etc.
  8. List day and evening phone numbers of emergency reporting and repair services of all serving utility companies and maintenance personnel for day and evening notification.
  9. Arrange for private contract to serve as an added backup source for generator, gas and diesel.
  10. Ensure that safety and maintenance personnel are thoroughly familiar with building systems.
    • Master Keys Control:
    • Master Key Holders:
    • Location of Emergency Keys:
    • Procedure for Use:
  11. Establish procedures for restoring systems.
  12. Establish preventive maintenance schedules for all systems and equipment.
  13. Train Staff on course of action to follow on elevator safety and use when stuck between floors/power outage.
  14. Request that maintenance staff inspect all personal electrical appliances prior to use in the facility.
  15. Test generators based on current NCPA codes (NFPA® 99 and NFPA® 110 and NPFA® 101) and manufacturer requirements.
  16. Arrange walk through of facility by Emergency Management, Fire, Police and emergency transport services:
    • Determine location/s where each group will park/place their emergency equipment to assist residents.
    • Share facility design and plans for moving residents to area of refuge in emergency.
    • Share evacuation route within the facility and determine which doors will be used for residents, Emergency management, Fire and Police to avoid evacuation over/around equipment and workers.

Boil Water Advisory

To boil water

                • Fill a pot with water.
                • Heat the water until bubbles come from the bottom of the pot to the top.
                • Once the water reaches a rolling boil, let it boil for one minute.
                • Turn off the heat source and let the water cool.
                • Pour the water into a clean container with a cover for storage.

Disinfecting water

If you are unable to boil water, disinfect instead.

If tap water is clear

                • Use unscented bleach (bleach that does not have an added scent).
                • Add 1/8 teaspoon (8 drops or about 0.75 milliliters) of unscented household liquid bleach to 1 gallon
                • (16 cups) of water.
                • Mix well and wait 30 minutes or more before drinking.
                • Store disinfected water in clean container with a cover.

If tap water is cloudy

                • Filter water using clean cloth.
                • Use unscented bleach (bleach that does not have an added scent).
                • Add 1/4 teaspoon (16 drops or 1.5 milliliters) of unscented household liquid bleach to 1 gallon (16 cups) of water.
                • Mix well and wait 30 minutes or more before drinking.
                • Store disinfected water in clean container with a cover.

To sanitize containers

                • Use unscented bleach (bleach that does not have an added scent).
                • Make a sanitizing solution by mixing 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) of unscented liquid bleach in 1 quart water.
                • Pour this sanitizing solution into a clean storage container and shake well, making sure that the solution coats the entire inside of the container. Let the clean storage container sit at least 30 seconds, and then pour the solution out of the container.
                • Air dry empty container OR rinse with clean water that has already been made safe, if available. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners.
                • Open windows and doors to get fresh air when you use bleach.

Water filters

                • Boil tap water even if it is filtered. Most kitchen and other household water filters typically do not remove bacteria or viruses.

Preparing and cooking food

                • Wash all fruits and vegetables with boiled water that has cooled or bottled water.
                • Bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute before adding food to cook.
                • Use boiled water when preparing drinks, such as coffee, tea, and lemonade
                • Wash food preparation surfaces with boiled water.

Ice

                • Do not use ice from ice trays, ice dispensers, or ice makers.
                • Throw out all ice made with tap water.
                • Make new ice with boiled or bottled water.

Bathing and showering

                • Be careful not to swallow water when bathing or showering.
                • Use caution when bathing residents. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water.

Brushing teeth

                • Brush teeth with boiled or bottled water.
                • Do not use untreated tap water.

Washing dishes

                • Dishwashers are safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees or if the dishwasher has a sanitizing cycle.

To wash dishes by hand:

                • Wash and rinse the dishes as you normally would using hot water.
                • In a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household liquid bleach for each gallon of warm water.
                • Soak the rinsed dishes in the water for at least one minute.
                • Let the dishes air dry completely.

Laundry

                • It is safe to do laundry as usual.

Resources

Water from Private Wells, Cisterns, Storage Tanks, Tankers, and Rain- Catchment Systems: CDC provides guidance on water from various sources. http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/foodwater/

Personal Preparation and Storage of Safe Water: CDC provides guidance on the amount of water needed for good health, as well how to prepare and store safe water before and during an emergency. http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/safe_water/personal.html

Hygiene and Handwashing: CDC provides guidance on alternative hygienic practices when water is not available or is contaminated. http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/hygiene/index.html

A Guide to Water Filters: CDC maintains a guide for filters that remove Cryptosporidium or Giardia. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/gen_info/filters.html

EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 1-800-426-4791

Consumer Information: EPA provides information and guidance about drinking water quality, emergencies, contaminants, public health issues, and treatment and storage. http://water.epa.gov/drink/emerprep/

Information gathered from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Water Works Association in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other partners.

March 2013 – http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/dwa-comm-toolbox/tools-templates-main.html

See Also

disaster plan, evacuation, severe heat, severe cold, shelter-in-place, snow emergency