Lowcountry hospitals prepare for Hurricane Florence

Lowcountry hospitals prepare for Hurricane Florence
Published: Sep. 10, 2018 at 11:02 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2018 at 9:36 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Hospitals across the Lowcountry are preparing for Hurricane Florence.

Roper St. Francis is open and stocked with water, a dedicated hurricane supply room that includes portable generators and cots, and also has three large CAT generators. Roper St. Francis spokesman Brian DeRoy said all of their major facilities will be open during the storm, but they ask patients with procedures scheduled to call and confirm.

The Medical University of South Carolina Hospital says they are prepared to care for their patients.

"Every hurricane is unusual, Florence is no different so part of our planning is really to understand what contingencies do we have to meet," said Matt Wain,  the chief operating officer for MUSC Health.

As part of their plan, they look at what patients they can safely discharge ahead of Hurricane Florence.

They also keep enough food, water, vital medications and other supplies on hand to last at least seven days in the event of a storm.

"One of the things we're really excited about is we have a high water vehicle that we have been able to acquire in the last year," Wain said. "It enables us to drive through water as deep as six feet and so we can provide urgent and emergent transportation for patients and physicians and staff between buildings if that need might arise."

It's a retired military vehicle called an LMTV which stands for Light Medium Tactical Vehicle.

"During Hurricane Matthew and during Hurricane Irma with the flooding event we had to transport surgeons from one side of the campus to the other to perform surgery and we utilized what they call Jon Boats and we pushed them along," said Bryan Wood, MUSC's emergency management coordinator.

MUSC staff says they are also prepared to help other medical centers in South Carolina or North Carolina if the Charleston area is not greatly impacted by the Hurricane.

"We are here to serve the community especially in times of adversity. So if there are patients of families who are worried, MUSC is here we will be here and we will be able to take care of any medical conditions or scenarios," Wain said.

Hospital staff is prepared to stay overnight to care for patients.

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