Monarch Emergency Preparedness & Response
Should an emergency or disaster arise, we want to make you aware that we are prepared to immediately and effectively respond. A Monarch team of Safety and Risk Management experts and other professionals makes regular visits to all Monarch homes, offices and sites to ensure we always provide safe environments. There are many contingency plans in place and different Monarch teams and departments know what to do to ensure the people we support are safe in the event of inclement weather and other pending crisis situations.
Emergency preparedness is continuous and there are unique vulnerabilities present with the sites, programs and services providers offer. Monarch’s Emergency Operations Plan is a guide for all-hazard emergency preparedness and management.
Outbreaks and Pandemics: What You Need to Know
At Monarch, our priority is the health and well-being of the people who entrust us with their care – and we are prepared. The rapid evolution of any public health emergency is challenging, but preparation and communication about those plans is critical in keeping patients, the people we support, staff and other key stakeholders informed about Monarch’s emergency preparation plans.
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is affecting all aspects of American life including the way organizations are choosing to operate and deliver services. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we want to provide information and resources to help better educate our employees, patients, people we support, and our communities.
A Monarch team of physicians, infection control, safety and risk management experts and other professionals continue to monitor this situation. Through an organized, systematic, data-informed approach, Monarch will strive to continue delivering care effectively at an individual level, and to contribute positively to overall containment efforts at the societal level.
Who’s At Risk?
There are many contingency plans in place, and different Monarch teams and departments know what to do to keep the people we support safe. People at high risk include individuals over age 65 or with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, people with weakened immune systems or people with disabilities who are more likely to have underlying health conditions.
We are being proactive in our response to this situation including:
- Please click here to see an up-to-date list of Monarch schedule changes and site closings.
- Regular internal and external communication is scheduled to provide updates when there are changes to the delivery of our services.
- Requiring handwashing, social distancing and other preventative protocols. Information about these critical techniques are being shared regularly with Monarch staff and the people we support.
Currently, the best way to reduce the spread of the virus is by following the proper preventative protocols (see above). Effective ways to prevent COVID-19 include handwashing and limiting exposure and visits to heavily populated areas. For that reason, no visitors will be permitted into our residential and day program sites, effective immediately.
In some circumstances, visitation may be permitted following consultation with Monarch staff members. Our staff will work hard to keep loved ones updated and to support the use of phones and other technology to connect family and loved ones with the people who are in our care.
So much information is available about COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) provide the latest updates and resources to help keep our communities safe.
- Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) and Children
- Healthcare Professionals: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
- Travel: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
- Get the Facts: Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19
- Home Care Guidance if diagnosed with COVID-19
Emergency Operations Plan
The emergency actions we take are contingent upon each unique situation. However, you are encouraged to review our Emergency Operations Plan. If you have questions or want to request additional information about our operations or preparedness plans, please email Safety@MonarchNC.org or call (866) 272-7826.
One of the tactics that we use during an emergency is to quickly convene an Incident Command Center (ICC). The ICC is a systematic team used for the command, control and coordination of emergency situations, and provides a platform for teams to regularly communicate to review our emergency and business contingency plans before a disaster, during and in preparation of severe weather. Our teams are ready to respond to maintain the safety of the people we support and our employees.
It’s often difficult to respond to an emergency if you don’t have a plan. At Monarch, safety is first and we take it very seriously. Before an emergency occurs, there is a plan in place to handle various incidents and occurrences. Plans are reviewed often, updated and revised and safety checks are made regularly at all Monarch locations to ensure the safety of staff members and the people we support.
Monarch has a detailed Emergency Operations Plan. However, we also ask for your necessary cooperation during any emergency. The following information helps us to better prepare and communicate those plans to you:
- In the event of a serious emergency, people we support will be kept at their programs or homes, unless state officials have mandated evacuation. In the event of evacuation, a Monarch team will handle plans and communicate those plans and relocation details to you.
- Monarch staff members will call families and guardians as soon as possible to share details during times of crisis and/or when one of our disasters plans is activated. Email communication might also be sent. If we do not have your most recent email address, please send it to PR@MonarchNC.org with “Emergency Preparedness” in the subject line.
- Please emphasize to your loved ones the need to follow directions given by any Monarch staff member in times of crisis. When we are forced to execute a plan or identify an alternate evacuation site, cooperation from the people we support helps us to manage the emergency much more smoothly.
- Please visit our company website MonarchNC.org for details during an emergency.
We want to be a topical resource for requested information about inclement weather for the people we support, families, guardians, community partners, managed care organizations, and referral sources when there is a forecast of inclement weather in any of our service communities. This site is our attempt to offer how we prepare and respond to inclement weather and natural disasters like thunderstorms, hurricanes/tornadoes, flash floods and earthquakes. Our Safety Management Team coordinates with local, state national agencies, like the National Weather Service, to prepare and provide weather, water and climate data forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property. We want to make you aware of some of the difficulties and risks associated with inclement weather.
Medical emergencies often present life-threatening situations that require immediate action. The most important step in any medical emergency is to notify emergency response personnel as quickly as possible. Medical emergencies may be caused by any number of factors and could present many different signs and symptoms.
Emergency situations may include difficulty breathing, choking, chest pain, heart attacks, unconsciousness, allergic reactions, low or high blood sugar levels, uncontrollable or profuse bleeding, heat exhaustion or stroke, seizures, fall from a significant height, significant trauma, and many other scenarios. If you witness or suspect someone is having a medical emergency or feel that you are experiencing a medical emergency, notify emergency personnel immediately.
In the event someone needs emergency medical care, we advise staff members to do the following:
- Call or direct someone to call 911.
- When reporting an emergency, state: “This is an emergency, I need an ambulance.” Tell them your name, location; give directions using common landmarks if necessary. DO NOT HANG UP THE PHONE until you have been told by 911 that no further information is required.
- If possible, send a staff person to wait for, and direct, the emergency vehicle to the appropriate part of the facility upon arrival.
- Within the limits of available CPR and First Aid training, administer to the needs of the victim while waiting for EMT personnel to arrive.
- Gather all applicable/available medical information/history for the victim and give it to the staff person to accompany them to the emergency facility.
- Immediately advise managers and Director of Program Operations or Practice Administrators of the situation.
Fires rarely occur at the sites, offices and residential properties that Monarch manages, but they can and do happen. Prevention is the key to fire safety. We have learned that it only takes a few minutes for a small flame to become an out of control fire.
Bomb threats or bomb scare is a threat, usually written or verbal, to detonate an explosive device to cause property damage, death, injuries, and/or to incite fear, whether or not such a device actually exists. At Monarch we take any threat very seriously. When a bomb threat is received by, the following emergency precautions are encouraged:
- Remain calm and stay on the line. Take as much information as possible from the caller.
- If possible, have another employee call 911 while you are on the line. If this is not possible, when the caller hangs up, call 911. Give the 911 operators your name, location, telephone number, and the information obtained from the caller.
- Instruct everyone to visually inspect their office or work areas for any suspicious looking items or objects. DO NOT TOUCH OR ATTEMPT TO MOVE ANY SUSPICIOUS LOOKING ITEMS OR OBJECTS. Provide information as to where the object is located to the proper authorities.
- If there are no suspicious items in an area, close the door if possible, and put a note on door saying the area is cleared. This will serve as notice to those responding that the area has been checked. FYI: Personnel responding to bomb threats do not search for bombs or suspicious packages. Generally, employees working in an area everyday are familiar with what is supposed to be there and what is not.
- Evacuate everyone not directly involved in searching the immediate area.
- Be prepared to tell the local authorities which areas were checked and found free of suspicious objects.
- Make sure everyone is accounted for and well away for the structure.
- If you need to evacuate, refer to the “after an emergency” section for instructions.
Office and Program Closings and Planned Closures
This site is a resource for people we support, families, guardians, community partners, managed care organizations and referral sources to provide the most current information about closings at Monarch.
Inclement weather is inevitable and there are some challenges and risks involved when unexpected or even forecasted weather occurs. There may also be planned delayed or closings because municipalities where we operate may plan power outages or street closures that prevent us from operating on a normal schedule or our utility partners may temporarily disable services for repair, maintenance or equipment updates/upgrades.
We want you to know as soon as possible some of those challenges and risks and how we communicate our closings and delays. Monarch officials make closing decisions based on credible weather assess all the information
Please visit the Monarch website (www.MonarchNC.org), call (866) 272-7826 or visit any of Monarch’s social media sites to determine if a Monarch service or program location near you is operating on a delay or closed.
Community Emergency Partners
Although Monarch has the primary responsibility for emergency and risk planning for all of the locations it operates, community emergency service agencies respond often to emergency calls for assistance. These partners also support Monarch during major emergencies and/or disasters. If there is a true emergency, we encourage individuals to call 911.
Click here to see a list of our first responders and emergency community partners.
How You Can Prepare for Emergencies
After people we support, patients and families know how Monarch prepares for emergencies, it’s also important for individuals and families to take important, and oftentimes life-saving, precautions to be ready. Click on this Emergency Preparedness Flier for useful tips and suggestions on how to best prepare for an emergency. The following websites also offer guidance and resources to help you prepare when an emergency arises.
- ReadyNC.Org: Make a Plan, Build a Kit, Be Involved
- American Red Cross
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- North Carolina Public Health Preparedness
- US Government Site for Pandemic and Avian Flu
- Preparations for Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Department of Homeland Security
What Happens After an Emergency
Knowing what to do after an emergency or disaster can make all of the difference in how an organization recovers. At Monarch, our goal is to be prepared and to do more in advance. Our Safety Management Team plans consistently, so others perform under the stress of the moment. We may not call immediately following a crisis, but the appropriate stakeholder will be contacted. Follow up documentation is reviewed and Monarch teams debrief to review how well the plan worked and if any adjustments are needed. Disaster recovery is key and what happens following an emergency is just as important.
If you have questions or want to request additional information about our operations or preparedness plans, please email Safety@MonarchNC.org or call (866) 272-7826.