Hurricanes and hospitals: how do they prepare?

Hurricanes and hospitals: how do they prepare?

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - When it comes to hurricanes, evacuations are always possible, but what about patients in hospitals who don't have the ability to leave?

"You want to keep your most critical patients in your hospital, it's better for their overall health," says Regional Manager of Safety and Emergency Management at Christus St. Patrick Hospital, Scott Kyle.

Kyle says in situations like these, they try to discharge patients who are able to be discharged, but they've learned from past experiences to build their facilities to withstand a rough storm.

"We have hardened our facilities, special windows, backup generators, redundant water systems," says Kyle, "So we staff appropriately and we have necessary resources for 96 hours."

It's important to have a plan if a hurricane were to hit Southwest Louisiana and you have family or friends stuck in a hospital.

Click HERE to come up with a plan in case of a hurricane.

Click HERE for a hurricane preparation checklist.

And for people on chemotherapy or dialysis, many times, they can't go days or weeks without their treatments, so dialysis centers start preparing ahead of time to ensure patients are prepared for severe weather possibilities.

"They have learned over the years how to take care of those patients," Kyle says, "Between May and June they give patients packets on how to prepare during a hurricane, nearest dialysis centers, whether they go east or west."

Southwest Louisiana is also ready for tropical storms and hurricanes to make landfall in nearby areas like this past season in Beaumont.

"We switched from a preparedness mode to a rescue mode to protect Texas," Kyle says, "Same thing with New Orleans, we would be able to accept patients from those areas if needed."

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