Emergency Preparedness

In 2008, the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) and the North Dakota Long Term Care Association (NDLTCA) partnered to increase emergency preparedness activities for the long term care facilities throughout the state. Grant funding under the Healthcare Preparedness Program (also referred to as the Hospital Preparedness Program) was delegated to NDLTCA in order to hire a part-time position to assist in preparing facilities for potential emergencies. In 2009, flooding in the Red River Valley reminded all of us about the importance of planning and collaboration. Long term care facilities were evacuated and residents placed throughout the state. The challenges were overwhelming, but we worked together and learned a great deal about what we would do better “next time.” We were faced with flood threats in 2010, but the result was not evacuation. The coalition in Fargo, as well as with other entities throughout the state, was stronger and better prepared than the year before. In 2011, Minot, and much of the rest of the state, was overcome with water. Once again, we were reminded that we can get better at preparing, and that relationships are critical.


Each year we are faced with emergency situations and 2020-23 has been the most challenging as we come together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

These web pages will help you better prepare for, or recover from, a disaster. There is guidance on how to request and respond to HAN (Health Alert Networks) drills and real events. We have included information on completing and working with Healthcare (HC) standard. There is also links to lists of contact information for city, county, and state resources for building strong relationships with emergency responders in your community.

The EPR division of the Department of Health and Human Services will also assist you with completion of training and exercising to satisfy reporting requirements and prepare for an emergency that may happen in the future.

Helpful State and Federal Preparedness Resources

The NDHHS EPR (Emergency Preparedness Response) DOC (Department Operations Center) is here to help!

CALL 701-328-0707. This phone number is answered 24/7/365 with staff on call.

DOC Assistance

FHCA Emergency Preparedness Portal  |  Preparedness tools and resources specifically for long term care.

North Dakota Department of Health & Human Services Emergency Preparedness & Response Section 

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Long Term Care Emergency Preparedness Video
(Video was developed by the Virginia Department of Health to be an educational tool for in-service staff training on emergency preparedness specific to long-term care facilities. Major points include; preparation, sheltering in place and evacuation.)

What’s New


Most Recent HPP Call for LTC – Emergency Preparedness held the last Tuesday of the month at 11:00 AM – HPP Call for LTC – 6.25.24

COVID-19 Pandemic

Skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities continue to receive or are eligible to receive free monthly shipments of Abbott BinaxNOW over the counter (OTC) COVID-19 test kits. Facilities/communities must have an active CLIA waiver to be eligible to participate in this program.

Shipments can be started and stopped, and test quantities can be increased or decreased by emailing TDX@hhs.gov

The email must include:  

  • Name of the facility
  • Facility address
  • CLIA waiver number
  • Type of Facility – Skilled Nursing or Basic Care
  • Point of Contact – Email and phone number
  • Number of Employees in your facility
  • Request (number of tests per week, stop, start, increase, decrease)

Please note, it may take a week or two to update the shipping information.



LTC Prevention Recommendations May 2023 Final The NDHHS HAI Team’s recommendations following CDC Guidance

QSO-20-39-NH Visitation REVISED & NH FAQ_5.8.23 CMS Document on Visitation, Testing, etc

LTC Testing event scheduling update_7.25.23 Follows the CDC and CMS guidance on when to perform COVID-19 testing


E-Book:  The Power of a Question: Why North Dakota Developed the Greatest COVID Outbreak in the World and How Community Heroes Turned it around – Dr. Stephen McDonough – Kindle Edition



New Life Safety Code Resources


Tools & Trainings for Life Safety Code® Compliance

The Life Safety Code® is a complex document, and managing life safety compliance can be a complicated task for any provider. An effective compliance program requires personnel with specialized knowledge in numerous life safety concepts and components. Requirements around egress, fire alarm systems, fire sprinkler systems, smoke barrier wall assemblies, and fire doors are just a few of the many survey focus points. The challenges resulting from staff turnover can compound the difficulty of maintaining compliance and survey readiness. Fortunately, several resources are available to assist providers in obtaining the necessary knowledge to properly apply the Life Safety Code® and be survey ready.

AHCA has developed two webinars focused on life safety, free for members. The first is an introd​uction for new Facility Directors while the second provides tips for navigating some of the most frequently cited life safety tags.

CMS has developed a Life Safety Code® orientation program. While it was developed as a surveyor training tool, it is available to anyone free of charge.  It is a self-paced program with six modules that includes approximately four hours of education:

  • The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers a menu of healthcare specific on-line training programs.  There are modules focused on The Life Safety Code®, The Health Care Facilities Code®, and Fire Door Inspections.

These programs are available for a fee.

Finally, don’t forget to continually monitor the AHCA life safety web page for additional compliance resources and tools.


New Emergency Preparedness Resources

As your organization is developing or reviewing your emergency preparedness plan, we encourage you to refer to these national and state-based tools as they can be useful in helping you prepare for an emergency.

LTC-Emergency-Preparedness-Plan-EPP-Resource-Document_Fall 2023

Additional Resources


AHCA’S 2022 Emergency Preparedness Resource for LTC  AHCA Emergency Preparedness Plan  Companion Webinar:  Developing & Maintaining a Comprehensive Emergency Preparedness Program

NDLTCA Emergency Preparedness Webinar – QSO 21-15-ALL (6.17.21) This webinar covers the most recent changes to CMS regulation on Emergency Preparedness

Most Recent Table Top Exercises

Tabletop Exercise: Flooding with Evacuation – Annual Spring Convention May 2024. | Use as an exercise within your facility.

Presentation Slides with Scenario: Operation Noah’s Ark – Flooding Disaster

Situation Manual: Operation Noah’s Ark – Situation Manual_5.8.24


Tabletop Exercise:  Chemical Plume of Smoke – Shelter in Place with possible Evacuation – Fall Conference (9/26/22).Use as a training exercise within your facility.
Situation Manual: Chemical Plume of Smoke – Shelter in Place vs. Evacuation Situation Manual


Tabletop Exercise: Ransomware. Annual Convention (8/25/21) (RECORDING). | Use as a training exercise within your facility.
Presentation slides: Ransomware Cyber Security Event
Click on Link to recording: Ransomware Tabletop Exercise


How to Plan a Tabletop or Full-Scale Exercise. Annual Spring Convention May 2023

Presentation Slides

More How to:

Additional Resources

Rapid Response Guide/Emergency Protocols 

HC Standard Resident Tracking Videos

State Medical Assets Video | (Upcoming) Short video showing what the ND HHS Emergency Preparedness & Response Unit can set up during a disaster.

Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) Template  |  An evolving template of resources, tools, and checklists to assist facilities with the development, maintenance, and implementation of their all-hazard emergency operations plan.

Assisted Living & Basic Care Facilities Emergency Operations Plan template (EOP) /Emergency Operations Plan template fillable form that will provide a basic Emergency Operations Plan Assisted Living & Basic Care specific EOP Template

The PneumoRecs VaxAdvisor mobile app, recently developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helps providers quickly and easily determine which pneumococcal vaccines an individual needs and when.

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