A national initiative to train long-term care staff for disaster response and recovery.

A 3-year national initiative entitled “PREPARE: Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Training for the Long-Term Care Workforce” had the purpose of training long-term care (LTC) healthcare providers with the core competencies necessary to respond to and recover from large-scale disasters and public health emergencies. Older adults in LTC settings comprise a vulnerable population requiring special attention in preparedness efforts. The PREPARE program delivers geriatric-specific training to LTC providers through 2-day train-the-trainer sessions, conference seminars, and distance learning opportunities. Outcomes are measured through content posttests, course evaluations, exercise evaluation tools, and pre and post surveys measuring the impact of the PREPARE training on organizational disaster plans. Lessons learned resulted in the revisions to the PREPARE program that increased participation and program completion rates. Participating organizations demonstrated improvement within the three areas of preparedness measured: disaster planning, community linkages and collaborations, and emergency response exercises.