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DOH Issues Guidance for Winter Storm Season 2022-2023

On Nov. 17th, the Department of Health (DOH) issued guidance outlining recommended actions providers may take to best prepare for the upcoming winter weather season. It includes general recommendations, in addition to recommendations for specific provider types.

According to the guidance, leadership and staff at all facilities and agencies should review their Emergency Response and Evacuation Plans to ensure that:

  • procedures are up to date;
  • procedures are understood by staff; and
  • contact information for all key staff and response partners is current.

All providers should be ready to activate these plans when needed. In addition, plans for ensuring adequate staffing should be reviewed and should include the following:

  • use of redundant communications if normal mechanisms are impacted;
  • necessary notifications and alerts to staff;
  • adjustment of shifts and management of staffing shortages due to transportation impacts;
  • securing needed supplies and preparations for staff who remain on site if roadways are not passable;
  • process for bringing in and housing additional staff prior to a storm to ensure sufficient coverage during the storm event and recovery period; and
  • emergency power.

DOH also notes the importance of inpatient and residential facilities testing their emergency generators prior to the winter weather season and before any storm to verify that they are operating properly, and provides additional guidance for preparing for power outages and the possibility of generator use.