Florida hospitals are executing emergency management plans as Hurricane Matthew hits the state, with some in the hurricane zone closing and evacuating patients.
Hospital and emergency officials are in regular conferences over emergency plans and are stocking fresh water and supplies.
The storm's eye was passing near the east coast of central Florida on Friday morning.
Many healthcare providers are putting their emergency plans put into effect for the first time in more than a decade. Florida hasn't had a major hurricane make landfall since 2005.
There are numerous reports of hospital evacuations up and down Florida's Atlantic coast, including hospitals in Cape Canaveral, Jacksonville, New Smyrna, Ormond Beach, and Fernandina Beach. Other hospitals are preparing for the potential loss of power and communications, as well as a potential influx of patients.
In storms with the power of Matthew, even backup power systems have sometimes failed, creating challenges for hospitals that rely on electricity to run monitoring, communications and life support systems.
More than 1.5 million people were asked to evacuate Thursday as the storm neared, with mandatory evacuations ordered in some anticipated high-impact areas. "There is absolutely no reason not to leave," Florida Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement. "If you chose to stay and try to ride the storm out, your life is at risk."