Surviving the storms: Emergency preparedness in Texas nursing facilities and assisted living facilities.

This study assesses the preparedness of long-term care facilities in Texas responding to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. A 41-item questionnaire was mailed to facilities; the response rate was 42%. Among responding facilities, 4513 residents were evacuated, and 6% of respondents reported resident death. Financial losses were reported by 8% of nursing facilities and 45% of assisted living facilities due to transportation and staff overtime. Respondents indicated the need for improved disaster preparednesstraining, better coordination, and transportation. Changes in policy and practice will lead to better trained staff who will provide the care residents need for improved health outcomes during future public health disasters.