The administrator of Iowa’s Emergency Management division says Iowans who’re concerned about how nursing home residents may be evacuated during an emergency should contact the home or their local emergency management coordinator. The owners of two Louisiana nursing homes have been charged with negligent homicide after 34 nursing home residents drowned in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath. Authorities say the home’s owners refused a local government’s offer of buses to evacuate the elderly in their home. David Miller, administrator of the Iowa Emergency Management division, says local Iowa governments have drawn up plans for nursing home evacuations here. “One of the things that they look at is not only nursing homes but special needs populations,” Miller says. “There’s been a major emphasis on special needs populations in the last few years to make sure that we can account for those folks (and) address the special needs they may have in getting them out of harm’s way.”Miller says the state’s disaster plan addresses the evacuation of those so-called “special needs” Iowans. In addition to nursing homes, there are special plans for evacuating residents in hospices and patients in hospitals.
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