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RULE §550.209Emergency Preparedness Planning and Implementation

(a) A center must have a written emergency preparedness and response plan that comprehensively describes its approach to an emergency situation, including a public health disaster that could affect the need for its services or its ability to provide those services.

(b) Administration. A center must:

  (1) develop and implement a written plan as described in subsection (c) of this section;

  (2) maintain a current written copy of the plan in a central location that is accessible to all staff at all times and at a work station of each staff who has responsibilities under the plan;

  (3) evaluate the plan to determine if information in the plan must change:

    (A) no later than 30 days after an emergency situation;

    (B) as soon as possible after the remodeling or construction of an addition to the center; and

    (C) at least annually;

  (4) revise the plan no later than 30 days after information in the plan changes; and

  (5) maintain documentation of compliance with this section.

(c) Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan. A center's plan must:

  (1) include a risk assessment of all potential external and internal emergency situations that pose a risk for harm to minors or property and are relevant to the provision of services at a center and the center's geographical area, such as fire, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, flood, extreme snow and ice conditions for the area, wildfire, terrorism, hazardous materials accident, thunderstorm, wind storm, wave action, oil spill or other water contamination, epidemic, air contamination, infestation, explosion, riot, hostile military or paramilitary action, energy emergency, water outage, failure of heating and cooling systems, power outage, bomb threat, and explosion;

  (2) include a description of minors served at the center;

  (3) include a description of the services and assistance needed by minors served at the center in an emergency situation;

  (4) include a section for each core function of emergency management, as described in subsection (d) of this section, that is based on the center's decision to either temporarily shelter-in-place or evacuate during an emergency situation; and

  (5) include a section for a fire safety plan that complies with §550.205 of this division (relating to Safety Provisions).

(d) Plan Requirements Regarding Eight Core Functions of Emergency Management.

  (1) Direction and control. A center's plan must contain a section for direction and control that:

    (A) designates by name or title the emergency preparedness coordinator (EPC) who is the staff person with the authority to manage the center's response to an emergency situation in accordance with the plan, and includes the EPC's current phone number;

    (B) designates by name or title the alternate EPC who is the staff person with the authority to act as the EPC if the EPC is unable to serve in that capacity, and includes the alternate EPC's current phone number;

    (C) documents the name and contact information for the local emergency management coordinator (EMC) for the area where the center is located, as identified by the office of the local mayor or county judge;

    (D) includes procedures for notifying the local EMC of the execution of the plan;

    (E) includes a plan for coordinating a staffing response to an emergency situation; and

    (F) includes a plan for relocating minors to a safe location that is based on the type of emergency situation occurring and a center's decision to either temporarily shelter-in-place or evacuate during an emergency situation.

  (2) Warning. A center's plan must contain a section for warning that:

    (A) describes how the EPC will be notified of an emergency situation;

    (B) identifies who the EPC will notify of an emergency situation and when the notification will occur, including during off hours, weekends, and holidays; and

    (C) addresses monitoring local news and weather reports regarding a disaster or potential disaster, taking into consideration factors such as geographic-specific natural disasters, whether a disaster is likely to be addressed or forecast in the reports, and the conditions, natural or otherwise, that would cause staff to monitor news and weather reports for a disaster.

  (3) Communication. A center's plan must contain a section for communication that:

    (A) identifies the center's primary mode of communication to be used during an emergency situation and the center's alternate mode of communication to be used in the event of power failure or the loss of the center's primary mode of communication in an emergency situation;

    (B) requires posting of the emergency contact number for the local fire department, ambulance, and police at or near each telephone at the center in communities where a 911 emergency management system is unavailable;

    (C) includes procedures for maintaining a current list of telephone numbers for:

      (i) minors' parents;

      (ii) safe locations; and

      (iii) center staff;

    (D) identifies the location of the lists described in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph;

    (E) includes procedures to notify:

      (i) center staff about an emergency situation;

      (ii) a contact person at a safe location about an impending or actual evacuation of minors; and

      (iii) a minor's parent about an impending or actual evacuation;

    (F) provides a method for staff to obtain a minor's emergency information during an emergency situation;

    (G) includes procedures for the center to maintain communication with:

      (i) center staff during an emergency situation;

      (ii) a contact person at a safe location; and

      (iii) the authorized driver of a vehicle transporting minors, medication, medical records, food, water, equipment, or supplies during an evacuation; and

    (H) includes procedures for reporting to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) an emergency situation that caused the death or serious injury of a minor as follows:

      (i) by telephone at 1-800-458-9858 or by using the HHSC website, no later than 24 hours after the death or serious injury of a minor; and

      (ii) in writing on the HHSC Provider Investigation Report Form no later than five days after the center makes the report.

  (4) Shelter-in-place. A center's plan must contain a section that includes procedures to temporarily shelter minors in place during an emergency situation.

  (5) Evacuation. A center's plan must contain a section for evacuation that:

    (A) requires posting center evacuation routes conspicuously throughout the center;

    (B) identifies evacuation destinations and routes for an authorized driver, and includes a map that shows the destinations and routes;

    (C) includes procedures for implementing a decision to evacuate minors to a safe location;

    (D) includes a current copy of an agreement with a pre-arranged safe location, outlining arrangements for receiving minors in the event of an evacuation, if the evacuation destination identified in accordance with subparagraph (B) of this paragraph is a prearranged safe location that is not owned by the same entity as the evacuating center;

    (E) includes procedures for:

      (i) ensuring that staff accompany evacuating minors;

      (ii) ensuring that minors and staff present at the center have been evacuated;

      (iii) ensuring that visitors, including parents and service providers, evacuate the center;

      (iv) accounting for minors and staff after they have been evacuated;

      (v) accounting for minors absent from the center at the time of the evacuation;

      (vi) releasing minor information in an emergency situation to promote continuity of a minor's care, in accordance with state law;

      (vii) notifying the local EMC regarding an evacuation of the center, if required by the local EMC guidelines;

      (viii) contacting the local EMC, if required by the local EMC guidelines, to find out if it is safe to return to the geographical area after an evacuation; and

      (ix) determining if it is safe to re-enter and occupy the center after an evacuation;

      (x) notifying HHSC by telephone, at 1-800-458-9858, no later than 24 hours after an evacuation that minors have been evacuated; and


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