(561) 739-3242

The Steinhauer Group provides both community based occupational therapy services in Palm Beach County, FL (to home health agencies, assisted living facilities, and directly to consumers), and consults with stakeholders in the emergency management and preparedness industry addressing planning for functional and access needs populations.

Emergency Preparedness


Emergency Planning for Municipalities and Continuity of Operations for Non-Profits and Community Organizations

We offer expertise in creating plans for local jurisdictions -- cities, towns, villages and neighborhoods – businesses, schools and non-profit organizations. These plans are designed to help you fulfill your role in an emergency. We offer specialized assistance in:


  • helping you develop and conduct your local emergency operations center, from activation to deactivation;
  • designing plans to educate, prepare and accommodate the people in your community with disabilities and special needs;
  • facilitating and overseeing the operation of a voluntary registry for people with disabilities and special populations;
  • guiding response and recovery plans for neighborhood groups and associations, including light search and rescue, first aid and shelter operations;
  • nurturing the role of local human services organizations and county human service departments in the planning, response and recovery of an incident, emergency or disaster;
  • developing municipal website content and maintenance as it relates to emergency preparedness;
  • conducting tabletop exercises, including exercise design, facilitation, and After Action Reports (AARs); and
  • appearing before city councils and other authorizing bodies to talk about the importance of a shared vision for emergency management, planning, response and recovery.

Disaster and Evacuation Planning for Long Term Care Facilities

New Standards of Practice

Introduction: Confusion and chaos are commonly experienced by health care institutions at the onset of a natural or man made disaster. However, these negative effects can be minimized if management responds quickly with structure and a focused direction of activities. For example, The Hospital Emergency Incident Command System (HEICS) is an emergency management system which employs a logical management structure, defined responsibilities, clear reporting channels, and a common terminology to help unify hospitals with other emergency responders. There are clear advantages to all hospitals using this particular emergency management system.


Our new Service to You: The State of Wisconsin, Department of Public Health, Bio Terrorism Unit has adopted a Evacuation Policy for all nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Michael Steinhauer has participated on the Expert Panel since its inception and is now offering facility on-site training to management and staff to assure compliance with the Policy.


Background: There are many lessons to be learned by the institution-based long term care industry, as they are introduced to the concepts embraced by HEICS. For instance, based upon public safety’s Incident Command System, HEICS has already proved valuable in helping hospitals serve the community during a crisis and resume normal operations as soon as possible. HEICS is fast becoming the standard for health care disaster response and offers the following features:


  • predictable chain of management
  • flexible organizational chart allows flexible response to specific emergencies
  • prioritized response checklists
  • accountability of position function
  • improved documentation for improved accountability and cost recovery
  • common language to promote communication and facilitate outside assistance
  • cost effective emergency planning within health care organizations


Care Facilities Handbook states in chapter 11-4.3, "The disaster planning committee shall model the disaster plan on the incident command system (ICS)."


The evacuation and/or shelter-in-place of a healthcare facility can be a complex task. Even with a well-defined plan and trained staff, it is very likely that, during the implementation of the decision to evacuate or shelter-in-place, there will be patient deaths and injuries, staff injuries and exacerbation of existing patient illnesses and injuries. It is the hope of all State planning bodies e that these outcomes can be reduced by training, adequate planning and exercising.


In accordance with state evacuation planning policies, the healthcare facility is to plan to shelter-in-place and to evacuate with its own resources and not depend upon the assistance of resources outside the facility. It is critical that the healthcare facility have emergency operations plans and resources that allow it to function on its own for up to 72 hours. Other emergency response organizations may not be able to respond to the needs of the healthcare facility due to other competing demands for resources.


Deterrents to planning are numerous, i.e. time restraints, adequate staff education/background in planning and preparedness, familiarity with issues just to name a few.


To achieve the goals of standardized evacuation planning within the Long Term Care Industry a coordinated and goal driven process was developed. Much of this information is accessible at the OQA website.


The Steinhauer Group offers consultation to institutional based facilities specifically nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospices to understand, support and comply with the State’s “Policy on the Evacuation of Healthcare Facilities” and Incident Command System principles and standards.


Our consultation will include:

  • Provision of an educational offering based at the facility on the adopted State Policy
  • Provision of education and training on the Incident Command System
  • Support the Planning Process within the facility
  • Encourage Facility Compliance with planning goals
  • Integrate facility plans with state and county emergency planning.
  • Provide written evaluation