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Prep for Hurricane Florence pays off: 2 lessons for TX hospitals

Hurricane Florence struck the Southeast coast just days ago. Local hospitals took proactive steps to prepare for the storm, and the efforts paid off. Just days after the storm hit hospitals were able to resume normal operations.

Every storm provides an opportunity to learn better ways to prepare for future natural disasters. Texas has had its share of hurricanes. Two things hospitals in Texas can learn or use as a reminder from the preparation for Hurricane Florence include:

 

  • Review “shelter in place” requirements. Areas hit by a major storm like a hurricane often implement mandatory evacuation orders. In some cases, certain facilities can remain open. This often requires the facility meet some form of requirements, such as “shelter in place” obligations. In this situation, South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control reports requirements included protection against flooding and back flooding, glazing to withstand wind speeds of 130 mph or greater and an adequate food and water supply on site. Hospitals facing these situations must review these requirements and adjust as needed well before the storm strikes.
  • Determine who can move, who must stay. Hospitals must also review which patients can move inland. Moving ill patients is a great strain on their health. Making this choice requires a careful review of safety considerations and the patient’s health.

A failure to properly prepare for these storms can lead to dangerous conditions for patients and staff. In some cases, this could lead to allegations of wrongdoing. If such a case ever arises, it is wise to contact an attorney.