Online Program

Safely returning sheltered persons back to the community

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 12:45 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Sandra Schoenfisch, RN, PhD, Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Preparedness and Response, Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee, FL 32399, FL
Background/Purpose: A person who takes refuge in a temporary shelter setting may be unable to safely return home after a disaster or may need additional support. Discharge planning is critical for all hazard preparations. Florida's experience with disasters has shown that a person who takes refuge in a temporary setting may need assistance to reduce the possibility of further injury or harm once the shelter is closed. Proper planning can help alleviate concerns about the possible deterioration of the health following discharge. Methods: The Florida Department of Health developed a nationally recognized online toolkit and Discharge Planning Resource Guide to assist local planners and staff involved in operating shelters. A Webinar introduced persons from local agencies and organizations to available resources, the 2012 Discharge Planning Resource Guide, and shared ideas and experiences. Results/Outcomes: Collaboration increased among agencies that would be involved in a coordinated response to assist persons being discharged from a shelter setting. Partner agencies have shared the resources with their networks. Communities have tools to help them plan for and exercise discharge planning. Conclusions: A process for safely returning persons to the community must be in place before a shelter is opened. Discharge planning can reduce challenges faced by local emergency management officials and shelter staff. Quality planning helps to assure that a stay in a temporary environment is for the shortest time necessary and persons can be returned safely to their original or other suitable community setting.

Learning Areas:

Program planning
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the importance of preplanning for shelter discharge Name three agencies that would be important partners in discharge planning Explain how to incorporate discharge planning in state preparedness trainings and exercises

Keyword(s): Vulnerable Populations, Challenges and Opportunities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Director of Nursing for the FDOH I was responsible for statewide oversite, coordination & management of our Special Needs Shelter System. We have devloped tools & training matierials that can be used to prepare for, set up, receieve patients, care for patients & return them to their community or an alternate site if needed. I was also a member of the teams in 2004 and 2005 when shelters were opened in FL and MS.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.