Generators, water, extra beds: Hospitals prepared for storm victims

Area hospitals prepping for severe weather

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Area hospitals are gearing up for any sort of potential disaster in the upcoming days.

This means storing extra supplies and backup generators while also preparing to take in patients with storm-related injuries.

Daniel Nielsen with Southside Regional Medical Center showed the hospital’s backup generators that can provide power for several days

“They’re able to run 4 to 5 days if we need them to. It will power our entire hospital, so we won’t have any systems down," he said, “We always keep 96 hours of food available. We have five pallets of drinkable water.”

Nielsen says the preparations are for worst-case situations. He said the hospital is coordinating with regional hospitals in case they need to rely on each other for supplies, or more importantly, room for more patients.

“We are able to take more patients. We’re licensed for 300 beds. We’re running current census to 180-185 right now," Nielsen said. “We will have room for them.”

Bon Secours said its hospitals have been conducting practice drills all week, and it has a surge plan if it takes in more patients.

But while area hospitals are ready, there are some things you can have on hand at home in case of an emergency.

“You should have a supply of their prescription medications, at least a seven to 10 days’ worth,” emergency room physician Dr. Clarence Clark said. "For other medications, they can get over the counter. You want medications for pain, anti-diarrhea, allergy medications.”

Clark said there area a good number of injuries that he treats during periods of severe weather.

“Flying debris - those are one of the main ones," Clark said. “Or people are not paying attention, especially when we lose power, going up and down steps – there’s increased falls.”

Southside Regional says it has no intention of moving its currents patients.

Bon Secours and McGuire VA Hospital also said they do not have any plans to transport patients to other locations.

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