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7.16 – Emergency Preparedness Disaster Policy

Purpose and Introduction:

The purpose of this policy is to provide Open Door with a formal protocol for emergency preparedness/disaster recovery and to continue normal business operations and service delivery. Park West Court Apartments (PWCA) ICF will comply with all local, state, and federal regulations related to Emergency Preparedness.

The purpose of this plan is to provide information on how to respond to emergency incidents by outlining the responsibilities and duties of employees at Open Door. Developing, maintaining, and exercising the plan empowers employees to act quickly and knowledgeably. The plan educates employees, and other key stakeholders on their roles and responsibilities before, during, and after an incident. This plan provides individuals served, employees, and others in the community with assurances that Open Door has established guidelines and procedures to respond to incidents/hazards in an effective way.

This emergency preparedness plan has been created in order to provide a safe environment for the employees and those served. The development of this plan, as overseen by the Planning Team/Crisis Response Team, is tailored to meet the particular needs of Open Door and its facilities. The purpose sets the foundation for the rest of the emergency preparedness plan. The basic plan outlines the Executive Director’s approach to crisis management and operations. It provides general guidance for crisis management activities and an overview of Open Door’s methods of prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery.

Specific Objectives of Emergency Preparedness Plan:

  • Location-specific assessment of risks using the All Hazards Risk Assessment Method.  This plan is developed to mitigate the risks identified.
  • Provide for the health, safety, and well-being of people on the premises and people served at the time of the disaster.
  • Minimize interruptions to normal operations.
  • To limit the extent of disruption and damage.
  • To minimize the economic impact of the interruption.
  • To establish alternative means of operation in advance.
  • To train personnel on all emergency procedures.
  • To provide for a smooth and rapid restoration of service.
  • To ensure compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations
  • To provide a clear communication plan for emergencies.
  • To collaborate and directly involve Emergency Management resources and community action agencies for support during a crisis.

Risk Assessment and Identified Risks Utilizing the All Hazards Method:

This section includes types of identified emergencies that could occur within the facility or service areas and those that could occur in the community. 

A Risk assessment (using the ALL HAZARDS METHOD) is completed annually for all Open Door locations.  A copy of the location-specific risk assessment will be kept at the Open Door Corporate Office and at the location in the Emergency Preparedness Binder. 

Risks and hazards to individuals served and employees fall into two general categories; natural and man-made.  Natural risks include severe weather and other crises caused by nature while man-made risks include all the crises that are not natural, including those that are criminal in nature.  All potential crises that are moderate or high risk are included in this plan and most have a specific annex assigned to them.

When assessing the PWCA facility, the Specific Risk categories identified for this facility include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Natural hazards and weather-related:
    • Fires, severe weather, tornadoes, earthquakes, hazardous material spills, transportation accidents, utility failures and outages, snow/ice/winter storms, floods, lightning, and wind damage
  • Geographic:
    • Proximity to railroad lines and freeways, flood plains, and companies that store, make, use, or transport hazardous materials
  • Physical/Building:
    • Community health risks, indoor air quality, molds, the layout of equipment, lighting, fire sprinkler/suppression systems, emergency water systems, leech beds, generators/fuel systems
  • Technological/IT/Data
    • Equipment, software, or data security failure, backup data failure, network security, loss of personnel and financial data, stolen devices or flash drives, telecommunications failure, computer system failure, power failure, and heating/cooling system failure
  • Human error
    • Poor training, poor maintenance, carelessness, misconduct, substance abuse, and fatigue
  • Unrest
    • Political unrest, social unrest, terrorist attacks, arson, bombings, sabotage, workplace violence, and threatening persons


Risk Assessment of Functional Needs of Population Served:

Open Door is committed to the safe evacuation and transport of individuals served with functional needs.  The functional needs population includes, but is not limited to, individuals with:

  • Intellectual disability
  • Specific learning disability
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Autism
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Hearing impaired
  • Visual impaired
  • Speech/language impairment
  • Other health impairment – minor

NOTE: Those with temporary needs will notify the Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee who will coordinate for that assistance.

Building Information:

  • The building is located at 600 Industrial Mile Rd.  Business is conducted in the administrative building and the 8 surrounding apartments.  A site plan of the property and the floor plan of the buildings are included in the Emergency Preparedness binders at the facility and at our corporate offices.
  • A site plan and floor plan of the buildings annotated with fire alarm pull stations, generators, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, hazardous materials storage, and utility shutoffs are included in this plan. Maintenance employees are required to know these locations as well as how to operate the utility shutoffs. 

Other Key Information and Important Definitions:

  • Open Door will continue to be exposed and subject to the impact of the hazards outlined in the plan and other potential hazards that could develop in the future.
  • It is possible for a major disaster to occur at any time and at any place. Dissemination of warnings to the public and implementation of increased readiness measures may be possible. However, some crisis situations occur with little or no warning.
  • A single-site crisis (e.g., fire, gas main break, etc.), can occur at any time without warning and employees cannot, and should not, wait for direction from local response agencies. Action is required immediately to save lives, reduce the number and severity of injuries, and protect property.
  • There may be multiple injuries of varying degrees of seriousness to employees. Rapid and appropriate response will reduce the number and severity of injury.
  • Outside assistance will be available in most crisis situations. Since it takes time to summon external assistance, it is essential for Open Door to be prepared to carry out the initial crisis response independently.
  • Proper prevention and mitigation actions, such as regular planning and fire inspections, can reduce crisis-related losses. Detailed crisis planning, training of employees/individuals served, and conducting crisis drills and exercises can improve Open Door’s readiness.
  • Maintaining the emergency preparedness plan and providing frequent opportunities for employees to practice executing the plan through drills and tabletop exercises can improve their readiness to respond to incidents.
  • There is no guarantee that this plan is a perfect response. As personnel and resources may be overwhelmed, Open Door can only endeavor to make every reasonable effort to plan appropriately to quickly respond to all crisis situations with the resources and information available at the time of the crisis.
  • Employees will likely be the first on the scene of a crisis situation within Open Door. They will normally take charge of the incident until it is resolved or others who have legal authority to do so assume responsibility. They will seek guidance and direction from local officials and seek technical assistance from state and federal agencies and industry where appropriate. The Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee will activate this plan when notified that a crisis is about to occur, is occurring, or has taken place. 
  • When looking up the protocols on how to handle specific crisis situations, the Emergency Plan lists the specific crises by the nature of the event.  Again, the protocols in the plan are organized by type of crisis.
  • This plan is based upon the concept that the crisis functions performed by Open Door generally parallel some of the normal day-to-day functions. To the extent possible, the personnel and material resources used for day-to-day activities will be employed during crisis situations. Because personnel and equipment resources are limited, some routine functions that do not contribute directly to the crisis may be suspended for the duration of a crisis. The personnel, equipment, and supplies that would normally be required for those functions will be redirected to accomplish crisis tasks.
  • Local government is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping local crisis responders and crisis management personnel, providing appropriate crisis facilities, suitable warning and communications systems, and contracting for crisis services. The state and federal governments offer programs that provide some assistance with portions of these responsibilities.
  • The Executive Director or designee is responsible for activating the Emergency Plan and the initial response associated with that activation such as:
    • Evacuation – Requires all employees to leave the building.
    • Reverse Evacuation – Requires all employees to go to safe places in the building from outside the building.
    • Lock down – All exterior doors are locked and employees stay in their offices.
    • Shelter-in-place – Employees are held in the building; windows and doors are closed and remain locked.  Limited movement is allowed. Shelter-in-place is typically used when there is an external threat which makes it potentially unsafe for the employees to go outside

Levels of Emergency:

Open Door will implement emergency actions based on severity levels depending on the department/building affected.  The levels of emergency are defined for PWCA in the table below:

Emergency LevelPark West Court Apartments ICF
Activation and relocation planning
Services Disrupted for 1 – 24 hours:
– Notify employees and contractors regarding activation of plan and their status.
– Secure original facility.
– Continue critical functions at regular facility, if available, until alternate facility is ready.
– Advise alternate facility on status.
– Activate Plan, response, alternate facility, and recovery teams, as necessary.
– Instruct advance team to ready alternate facility.  

NOTE: Any emergency resulting in loss of power with individuals requiring life saving equipment, such as oxygen, etc., or individuals that are sensitive to extreme temperatures, and any complete loss of shelter will be treated as Red Level. 
NOTE: PWCA has generators that can be activated for use at the location, as directed by the CRT team.  The generators will be operated, maintained, and tested in accordance with manufacturer, local and state requirements.    
Alternate Facility/Work Site Operations and Recovery
Services Disrupted for 1 – 7 days:  
Notify alternate facility manager of impending activation and relocation requirements.
– Activate plans to transfer to alternate facility.
– Assemble documents and equipment required for critical functions at alternate facility.
– Provide guidance to contingency team personnel and information to the public.
– Transport documents, equipment, and designated communications.
– Identify replacements for missing personnel (delegation of authority and orders of succession).
– Commence full execution of operations supporting critical functions at the alternate facility.
– Order needed equipment/supplies.

NOTE: Under a Yellow Emergency for Residential Services, Open Door must ensure adequate emergency supply of food and water, access to adaptive equipment, and ability to transport hoyer lifts to individuals who need them.
RedServices Disrupted for 1+ week:   NOTE: In addition, any emergency resulting in loss of power with individuals requiring life saving equipment, such as oxygen, etc., or individuals that are sensitive to extreme temperatures, and any complete loss of shelter will be treated as Red Level.

Crisis Response Team Incident Coordinator/Person In-Charge of Disaster Plan Implementation and Continuation of Services:

AreaTeam LeaderBackup
Park West Court Apartments ICFDirector of ServicesICF Program Director

Crisis Response Team Coordinators and Assigned Areas:

The primary responsibility of implementing this EMERGENCY PLAN falls upon the Crisis Response Team (CRT) Coordinators listed below.  Employees are expected to follow the procedures outlined in the EMERGENCY PLAN  to help ensure the proper execution of protocols in crisis situations.     

AreaCoordinatorItems Covered
Public Relations and Contacting Local EMACoordinate transportation services, and replacement of vehicles as neededCommunication with the public about disasters, as needed.
Medical ServicesMedical Services Manager or Charge Nurse on assigned shift at the direction of the Nursing SupervisorCoordinating medical services to individuals as needed (ensuring delivery of pharmacy supplies, recovery of MAR and needed medical records, etc.)
Human ResourcesHR Compliance CoordinatorCoordinating personnel issues, work locations, recovery of records, etc.
FinancesDirector of FinanceCoordination of efforts to ensure billing continues to be completed, payments are received, and processing of payroll to employees.
Information TechnologyDirector/ Elevity Contracted IT ServicesCoordinate recovery of all IT assets and data, create new computing locations as needed, and new equipment acquisition.
TransportationDirector of Services,
Director of Operations,
Fleet Manager
Coordinate transportation services, and repair/replacement of vehicles as needed.
Emergency GrantsDirector of Operations,
Marketing & Development Manager
The primary responsibility of implementing this EMERGENCY PLAN falls upon the Crisis Response Team (CRT).  Employees are expected to follow the procedures outlined in the EMERGENCY PLAN  to help ensure the proper execution of protocols in crisis situations.       
Resources/SuppliesFacilities Manager or DesigneeCoordinate emergency supplies and storage; arrange for delivery or pick-up of supplies during event.

Dependence on Outside Agencies:

It is a functional reality that Open Door is dependent upon outside agencies for critical services and resources during many crises.  These agencies include but are not limited to: local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, local fire departments, local and state health departments, local and state social service agencies, local and state medical departments and agencies, and the utility companies which service Open Door. Throughout this plan, specifically in the functional and hazard-specific annexes, specific persons (by position) are responsible for coordinating with these agencies during the planning process, during the crisis response, and when recovering from a crisis. Unless noted differently by the incident commander during a crisis, the following persons are responsible for coordinating with the following agencies on which we may dependent:

Facilities Manager:

  • All utility companies including but not limited to water, gas, power, and telephone services.

Executive Director or Designee

  • County emergency management agency and all law enforcement agencies.

Mental Health Support (post-crisis):

  • The Executive Director is responsible for ensuring this coordination takes place to support this EMERGENCY PLAN. 

Emergency and non-emergency contact numbers and names (to the extent possible) are included in the attachments at the end of this plan.

Coordination with Emergency Responders:

Various agencies and services will be involved in incident response, including emergency responders from our local law enforcement, safety, fire, and emergency agencies, as well as mental health and other community organizations. (Contact numbers are listed in the phone list attachment to this plan)

An important component of the EMERGENCY PLAN is advanced planning with federal, state, and local agencies and community service providers to aid in timely communication and response to an incident.

Law enforcement will:

  • Provide emergency response when appropriate.
  • Assume incident command (when appropriate) during an incident.
  • Participate in the establishment, review, and updating of this plan as appropriate.
  • Participate in emergency exercises when possible. 

The fire department will:

  • Provide emergency response when appropriate.
  • Assume incident command (when appropriate) during an incident.
  • Participate in the establishment, review, and updating of this plan as appropriate.
  • Participate in emergency exercises when possible. 

Emergency management agency will:

  • Participate in the establishment, review, and updating of this plan as appropriate.
  • Participate in emergency exercises when possible. 
  • Provide emergency planning expertise when requested in an effort to allow Open Door to be in the best possible position to avoid and respond to emergencies.
  • Assist Open Door leadership in coordinating recovery efforts after an emergency has taken place (as appropriate

Initial Notification Requirements and Communication Plan:

Open Door’s communication plan involves the following methods of communication:


  • Phone service
  • Emergency company cellular phones or tablet devices
  • Fax machines/scanners
  • Email


  • Open Door has a contract with MailChimp that allows for mass email communication to any and all stakeholders using outside software. The Director of Operations and the Marketing & Development Manager have access to this platform outside of the facility at any time.
  • Open Door participates in the Healthcare Coalition for Franklin County.  The Coalition can assist with MASS TV/RADIO communications for disaster response and recovery.  The Director is a contact with the Coalition and will facilitate any needed coordination and communication to/from the Coalition. 
  • Open Door website banner/popup notifications
  • Green Employee communications
  • Physically driving to deliver instructions/messages when all other communication methods fail.

Communication Plan Procedures:

  • In an emergency situation, all employees are instructed to notify 9-1-1 and the Open Door Incident Hotline (614-701-6993).   
  • The Incident Hotline must immediately notify the Person-in-Charge of the division where the emergency occurred.
  • The Person-In-Charge in an emergency will determine the level of emergency using the definitions listed above.
  • The Person-In-Charge will notify the Executive Director with details of the emergency and the level determined. 
  • The Executive Director will notify the Open Door Board of Directors and keep them updated throughout the emergency.
  • The Executive Director will notify the insurance company of the emergency.
  • The Executive Director will notify members of the Crisis Response Team with details of the emergency, and emergency level, and implement the Disaster Plan. Notification should be made by text message, call, and email.
  • Open Door has emergency cellular phones on-site, in the vehicles, and extra at the front desk which can be accessed by staff at all times.  
  • All stakeholders will be notified by utilizing mass communications services which provide calls, texts, and emails to all staff, individuals, and stakeholders. Open Door has paid for subscriptions and prepared emergency contact lists within these software platforms which will cover all means for phone, email, and text communications in an emergency.  If all communication methods are unable to be used,  The Director, CRT TEAM, or EMA may be required to go on-site to communicate directly.  Open Door will utilize our website and social media platforms as additional communication sources. 

Emergency/Crisis Response Plan:

Every Open Door location has established emergency procedures. These policies give specific procedures that must be followed regarding action plans for:

  • Full facility evacuations
  • Fires
  • Severe weather
  • Bomb threats
  • Electrical services
  • Carbon monoxide alarm
  • Telephone disruption
  • Chemical spills/exposure

A copy of these policies can be located in the Emergency Preparedness/Crisis Response Plan binder at each location, at the Corporate Office, in shared files on our computer network, and on the Open Door website.


If the Park West Court Apartments ICF cannot be utilized due to a disaster/emergency, all individuals will follow the full evacuation procedures outlined specifically in policy 7.15.01

All individuals will be relocated to the Corporate office for Open Door at 540 Industrial Mile Rd. Cols Ohio, 43228.   

  • The Corporate Office at 540 Industrial Mile Road, Columbus Ohio, 43228 will serve as the “Command Center” if it is safe and available.
  • In the event that the Corporate Office cannot be used, the facility at Open Door Art Studio (ODAS) will be designated as the “Command Center” for the PWCA location and can be used for emergency reloaction.
  • If the locations above are not available or if the need for long-term relocation is determined, the facility will work with families, state and county agencies, emergency management entities, and community organizations to assist with relocation. Additionally, Open Door has agreements with hotels for short-term, temporary relocation.

Responsibilities for Ongoing Updates to the Emergency Response Plan:


  • In all cases of emergency/disaster response, the Director of Services, with support from the ICF Program Director, will be the Person-in-Charge of directing actions.
  • The Emergency Preparedness/Crisis Response binder and shared network files will be kept by the Person-In-Charge, with additional copies at the Command Center and at the Park West Court Apartments front desk.   

ICF Administrators:

ICF Administrators are responsible for assigning who is responsible for updating each form within the binder.  These must be updated monthly and contain the following for each division/department:

  • Indication of what is needed for each emergency level (Green-Yellow-Red) for all individuals served:
  • Technology/IT/Equipment
  • Food/ nutrition supply
  • Medical equipment
  • Medication
  • Personal care equipment
  • Adaptive equipment
  • Financial needs
  • Transportation needs
  • Staffing support—temporary staffing contacts, admin reassignments to locations; ADS staff reassignment to locations; volunteers/interns
  • Phone numbers: including all individual contacts, physicians
  • Emergency management contacts
  • Vendor list with reference numbers, emails, and other contacts
    • List of emergency financial resources
    • List of insurance documents and procedures
    • List of emergency contacts for all individuals being served
    • IT Priority List/Service Continuation Priority List
    • Employee Assistance Resource list
    • Sheet to document specifically where an individual will be relocated with verification that they made it to the site for relocation and that the team has been notified

Accounting for all Individuals Involved in an Emergency/Crisis:

The Person-In-Charge will:

  • Determine how employees will confirm who is in attendance at each designated assembly area
  • Determine what to do when an employee, individual, or guest cannot be located
  • Report to the Executive Director or Executive Director’s designee
  • Determine how and when employees, individuals, and guests will be released
  • Account for all persons

The CRT Team will:

  • Confirm that all individuals, employees, and visitors are accounted for before, during, and after a crisis.
    • Employees will account for who is and is not in the building.
    • This information will be communicated to the Person-In-Charge who will report it to the Executive Director or the Executive Director’s designee in order to establish a total number of employees in the building per written schedule.
  • Take attendance as soon as it is safe to do so after an emergency/crisis event (e.g. evacuation, lock-down) and again at the conclusion of the crisis; whether still in your location, or at a point at the off-site evacuation center. 
    • Attendance should be logged in the Emergency Book.

Employees will:

  • Report their safe arrival, and the presence of those they may be responsible for, at the appropriate safe rally point to a member of the CRT Team or the Person-In-Charge. Employees will list each person present or unaccounted for at the rally point by name.
  • Immediately after the emergency/crisis is declared to be over and the all clear has been given, employees will confirm their presence and the presence of all those they are responsible for and report that information to a member of the CRT Team or the Person-In-Charge.

Executive Director will:

  • Establish full accountability for all persons based on incoming reports from the Person-In-Charge, members of the CRT Team, and employees. They will continuously update this information until all employees, individuals, and guests are accounted for.
  • Notify law enforcement officials of any missing individuals, employees, or guests. 
  • Direct the Facilities team to conduct a search of the building and its grounds (if safe to do so) in an effort to find any missing persons. If this cannot be done for any reason, emergency responders will be notified.

Resuming Operations/Continuation of Services:

The CRT Team will also serve as the recovery team. The Emergency/Crisis Response binder will be used to identify the service continuation priority list.

During recovery, the CRT Team will:

  • Monitor the safety of all employees, individuals, and guests on the grounds.
  • Continually assess all hazards or potential hazards and clearly communicate those identified to the Person-In-Charge.
  • Identify and report all damage/losses to the Person-In-Charge. The necessary inventories, assessments, and claims will be completed as needed in conjunction with insurance or other adjusters.
  • Report any repair/maintenance needs to the Facilities Team who will prioritize their completion. 
  • Purchase any items needed to restore critical equipment.
  • Ensure protection of undamaged property and secure the grounds.
  • Coordinate actions with all appropriate government agencies.
  • Communicate with all employees, individuals, and other stakeholders throughout the emergency utilizing the methods outlined in the Communications Plan section above. All media inquiries must go through the Executive Director or designee.
  • Ensure all IT and technical needs are reported immediately to Managed IT and that disaster response back-ups are in place to restore all critical IT functions within 4 hours per contract.

Disaster Preparedness On-Going Assessments:

Open Door will conduct a Hazard Identification Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Analysis, and Readiness Assessment annually.

  • The results of these assessments will be reviewed by the Open Door Executive Team during the regularly scheduled bi-weekly Executive Team meeting.
  • The recommendations will be used to make necessary revisions to the Emergency/Crisis Response binder, shared network drive, and to the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery policy.
    • This policy will be reviewed and updated annually.

Disaster/Emergency Preparedness Staff Training and Testing:

This policy/ER plan must be reviewed and updated at least every 2 years.

Open Door will ensure all of the following:

  1. Initial training in emergency preparedness policies for all new and existing staff, individuals providing services under contract, and volunteers consistent with their roles.
  2. Provide ongoing training in all emergency preparedness procedures and disaster response policies at least every two years and if significant changes in plan, will conduct training with all employees.
  3. Maintain documentation of all trainings
  4. Demonstrate staff knowledge of emergency procedures

Open Door will conduct emergency exercises to test the emergency plan at least twice per year including the following:

  1. Participate in a full-scale exercise that is community based or when community based is not acceptable, conduct an annual, individual, facility-based functional exercise. If an actual natural or man-made emergency requires facility to activate the emergency plan, this will meet the requirement for full-scale testing.
  2. Conduct an annual exercise that may include a second full-scale exercises, a mock disaster drill, a table top exercise led by a facilitator including group discussion, clinically-relevant emergency scenario, and a set of problem statements, directed messages, and questions designed to challenge the emergency plan.

The Safety Committee will be responsible to review and make recommendations for changes based on outcomes identified in any of the emergency drills. Documentation of all drills, tabletop exercises, emergency events must be maintained, analyzed, and include review of plan.

The Open Door Crisis Response Team will attend the annual Life Safety/ER Preparedness Conference offered through the Ohio Health Care Association (OHCA) to stay abreast of all regulatory standards.

  • Open Door is a member of the OHCA email list that provides Rules/Regulation updates. 

Individual and Family/Guardian Information:

Open Door will provide a copy of the emergency preparedness policy/plan to all individuals and their representatives at admission and will review with them at least annually. In addition, this policy and plan will be accessible on our website at all times.

Signed by:

Rebecca Sharp Porter
Chief Executive Director

Last Revised: 5/2/2024

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