New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York is launching a statewide emergency tracking system referred to as the “New York State Evacuation of Facilities in Disasters System” or referred to as NYS e-FINDS. The system is in place to help patients and residents when healthcare and human services facilities are forced to evacuate as a result of a natural disaster.
NYS e-FINDS at http://nysandyhelp.nygov/e-FINDS is a secure, confidential fast and easy system to use to provide real-time access to patient locations. The system will be place for the 2013 hurricane season with training for providers taking place this summer.
During Superstorm Sandy, more than 13,000 patients and residents were evacuated from state-regulated and state-run facilities including more than 7,100 from hospitals and nursing homes. When these storms struck, there was no statewide system in place to track vulnerable patient and/or residents who had to be transferred to alternative locations due to flooding, power outages, or damage to facilities.
Under the new system, all facilities will use barcode wristbands pre-printed with the facility name for all patients and facility residents except for facilities such as substance abuse treatment programs where confidentiality requires that facility names be excluded. The system will enable patient and resident locations to be updated and tracked using hand-held scanners, mobile apps, or paper tracking if power and/or phones are out of service.
The establishment of NYS e-FINDS follows the recommendation of the NYS Ready and Respond Commission and is based on close collaboration with outside organizations, including the Greater New York Hospital Association.
Louisiana has implemented their ALERT FM at www.alertfm.com and GSSNet systems across the state to improve the delivery of voice and text emergency notifications to the public when announced by the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP).
GOHSEP will use the ALERT FM system to send out emergency alerts. Also, emergency managers from all 64 parishes and 42 colleges and universities across the state will send out alerts.
Some parishes have already started testing their connection with the site. The free ALERT FM app is currently available for download to Apple and Android devices. The GSSNet CAP-EAS system will be used by GOHSEP and the Louisiana State Police to broadcast voice-based emergency information including Amber Alerts, evacuation notices, weather warnings, and instructions across TV and radio stations. These systems are now able to provide a complete end-to-end satellite-based voice and text emergency notification system for the state.