RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Area hospitals are making final preparations ahead of Hurricane Florence and whatever the storm throws at them. That includes planning for patients, transports and power outages.
In Petersburg, 8News got an up-close look at the preparations underway at Southside Regional Medical Center, which has been stocking on emergency supplies, testing its generators and running disaster drills.
“We have been planning for about 10 to 14 days for this,” Brandon Seier with SRMC told 8News.
Seier explained that three large generators are ready to go should the hospital lose power.
“The generators were topped off earlier this week, they are ready to kick in within ten seconds of a power outage,” he explained.
In addition, a five-to-six day supply of water and non-perishable foods is piled high. Outside, a 10,000 gallon tank of non-potable water.
“We are making sure our supplies are completely topped off,” Emergency Medical Physician Dr. Michael Rowe said.
The entire hospital network, including its Southside Emergency Care Center in Colonial Heights, is ready for an influx of patients of hospital evacuees from its neighbors to the south — just in case Florence packs a powerful punch.
Extra medical supplies are on hand and staff is on high alert.
“We have three different areas in which staff can come and spend the night,” Jane Burnette, Director of Southside Emergency Care Center, said.
“The team here drills for these type of events,” Dr. Rowe added.
At the Emergency Care Center, another large backup power generator will help keep the AC running.
“It is tested weekly,” Burnette explained.
“There has just been a lot of coordination, people have thought about this ahead of time,” Dr. Rowe added. “We’re not making this up as we go along. This is all very planned.”
The doctors and nurses aren’t just concerned about care during the storm, but in the aftermath, too. Cuts, infections and power tool accidents that can happen during recovery efforts.