“Long Term/Residential Care Disaster Preparedness: Protecting Our Most Vulnerable” is the theme of Omaha’s first national conference on disaster preparedness.
Dr. Philip Smith, professor of infectious diseases at UNMC, says the 2-day conference will feature presentations by experts from around the country.
He says some of these individuals have experience with disasters such as floods, fires and hurricanes. Others will share legal and ethical expertise.
Dr. Smith says this type of training is crucial because the residents of these facilities are frail and elderly, and can't always be moved quickly.
"The long-term care facilities are part of the community response to a disaster and some people think they will serve the function of overflow for hospitals, which will fill up very quickly during a disaster, but long-term care facilities are full and they have a vulnerable population. So admitting influenza patients during a flu pandemic, for example, might be a bad idea.”
The conference takes place at the Century Link Center. Continuing education credits are available.