Hurricane Irma forces nearly 3 dozen Florida hospitals to evacuate
- About three dozen Florida hospitals evacuated as Hurricane Irma made landfall over the weekend, Stat reported.
- One of the biggest concerns in the wake of the storm has been power outages. One hospital ran dangerously low on fuel for its generator Sunday before a fire department helped deliver more supplies, according to the Miami Herald.
- Bruce Rueben, president of the Florida Hospital Association, told Stat that hospitals in Florida have generally fared well. “There’s a tremendous spirit of cooperation and collaboration among hospitals that extends to state and federal agencies,” he said. “The hospitals I’ve talked to are confident they’re doing everything they can. There’s plenty of anxiety. But the ones staying open feel they can do a great job through the storm.”
A few hospitals in southern Florida announced Friday they were closing, while other facilities in the path of Hurricane Irma were bracing for potentially unprecedented weather. The image of hospitals and doctors scrambling to continue offering health services in Texas during Hurricane Harvey was likely fresh in their minds.
Most hospitals in areas affected by the storm remained open, but their emergency supplies of food, water and generator fuel could be stretched as power outages are widespread and may linger for days.
Although Irma has weakened to a tropical storm, it still presents dangerous conditions that could affect inland states, such as parts of South Carolina and Georgia. Hospitals there have been making preparations, particularly those in evacuation areas. Hilton Head Regional Medical Center in South Carolina closed Saturday afternoon as a precaution.
About a third of Florida’s population was told to evacuate prior to Irma’s landfall, likely easing the strain on hospitals coping with difficult conditions.
- Healthcare Dive South Florida hospitals bracing for Hurricane Irma
- Healthcare Dive Southeast Texas hospitals scrambling to withstand Hurricane Harvey
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