January 1st, 2023

LTC Winter and Extreme Freezing Weather Preparedness

HHSC encourages long-term care facilities and agencies to review and update emergency plans for freezing temperatures and snow. Emergency plans for extreme weather should include the provider’s plan to address:

  • Power loss
  • Water and food needs
  • Communication to families and staff
  • Staffing shortages
  • Sheltering in place and evacuation as applicable

Providers must follow emergency preparedness rules and their own internal emergency preparedness policies and procedures.

Facilities with generators should perform any maintenance or needed testing while the weather is mild. This will ensure the equipment functions in case of extreme cold or power loss.

It is important to review building integrity and identify any areas that may need repair, reinforcement or weatherproofing. Multi-story buildings should review any other needed measures should evacuation be required and have a plan in place for how to move residents around or out of the building if there is a loss of power.

Preparing for disaster is the most important step in protecting our most fragile Texans and reducing the risk for loss of life.


May 26th, 2022

Guidance related to Emergency Preparedness- Exercise Exemption based on A Facility’s Activation of their Emergency Plan *** Revised to provide additional guidance and clarifications due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) REVISED 05.26.2022 ***

Memorandum Summary

• Emergency Preparedness Training and Testing Program Exemption -CMS regulations for Emergency Preparedness (EP) require facilities to conduct exercises to test the facility’s EP plan to ensure that it works and that staff are trained appropriately about their roles and the facility’s processes. During or after an actual emergency, the regulations allow for a one-year exemption from the requirement that the facility perform testing exercises.

• This worksheet presents guidance for surveyors, as well as providers and suppliers, with assessing a facility’s compliance with the EP requirements, in light of many of the response activities associated with the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).

• As the PHE continues, many facilities continue to operate under their respective activated emergency plans. Therefore, CMS is providing additional guidance related to the exercise requirements (full-scale/functional drills and exercises) for inpatient and outpatient providers/suppliers.

• This exemption only applies to the next required full-scale exercise (not the exercise of choice), based on the facility’s 12-month exercise cycle. The cycle is determined by the facility (e.g. calendar, fiscal or another 12-month timeframe).

***All revisions are in red on this letter from CMS, click the link below for the complete document. 

Read more……


September 13th, 2021

Very Important Updates on Emergency & Disaster Preparedness During the Pandemic

Resources Listed Are From CMS & HHSC 

See Info For ICF Facilities Below



Life SafetyUpdated Guidance for Emergency Preparedness-Appendix Z of the State Operations Manual (SOM)

Emergency Preparedness Participant Workbook

 Interim Guidance for Hurricane Evacuation Transport to General Population Shelters during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Interim Guidance for General Population Disaster Shelters During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Screening Tool For COVID-19 During Pandemic For Arrival At General Population Shelters