Hurricane Sandy: Hospitals adopt emergency plans

2012-10-29T18:07:00Z Hurricane Sandy: Hospitals adopt emergency plansChristen Croley, The Sentinel The Sentinel
October 29, 2012 6:07 pm  • 

Area hospitals said Monday they were prepared for the worst of Hurricane Sandy.

“I can only tell you that I spoke with our ED (emergency department) staff (Monday) morning and they are well prepared for whatever the hurricane brings,” said Tara Mead, public relations director at Carlisle Regional Medical Center. “And our hospital can handle it as well, notably any high winds that come with this type of storm.”

Hurricane Sandy pummeled the eastern seaboard Monday, with forecasters predicting 4 to 6 inches of rain and 60 mph wind gusts for Central Pennsylvania. Sandy, described by some meteorologists as “Frankenstorm,” will meet with a cold front moving in from the west, dumping 6 to 12 inches of snow in West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. Widespread flooding and power outages are expected in the region throughout the week.

“Over the weekend, our engineering staff checked emergency generators to make sure they were fueled and ready,” said Lori Moran, public relations director at Holy Spirit Hospital. “We also checked all drains and made sure they were clear of debris.”

Moran said the hospital was following its emergency-preparedness plan, canceling all elective surgery procedures for Tuesday and closing outpatient and imaging lab centers at 5 p.m. Monday. Child-birth classes are canceled today, Wednesday and Thursday.

PinnacleHealth also stuck to its emergency-preparedness plan as the staff braced for Sandy’s impact.

“We’ve been preparing since Thursday with medical supplies, back up generators and fuel,” said Philip W. Guarneschelli, system chief operating officer at PinnacleHealth. “We are in really good shape and we are ready for this.”

Guarneschelli says the emergency preparedness team meets every four hours to discuss the list of items needed for maintaining full operations of both PinnacleHealth campuses.

“This list includes things like testing emergency generators to getting bottles of water and medical supplies,” he said.

Guarneschelli said PinnacleHealth’s staff and supplies remain fully stocked and prepped for normal operations.

“Because of the notice period for this storm,” Guarneschelli said. “We were able to make sure all of our suppliers were notified early to assure the full operations of all of our hospitals.”

“We don’t expect any problems at this time even though a lot of outpatient services are being cancelled,” he added.

PinnacleHealth posted a list of closures to their website Monday. The family-care practices closed at 2 p.m. and will not reopen until noon Tuesday. Both Kline and Community Health Center closed at noon Monday and will remain closed today. The outpatient pulmonary and cardiac rehab will also be closed today. The REACCH program is canceled today, as well.

Copyright 2015 The Sentinel. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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