A news release from Lawrence + Memorial Hospital:
The Lawrence + Memorial Hospital Emergency Preparedness Team is taking all necessary steps in advance of Hurricane Sandy’s arrival early next week.
“We’ve been through this process many times in the past,” said Ron Kersey, the hospital’s emergency services coordinator. “Our first focus is always patient safety, and during these situations, our plans also focus on appropriate staffing and facility operations.”
Kersey said the team has gone through its pre-event checklist to ensure adequate supplies and emergency back-up systems are in place. The Engineering and Public Safety Departments also stand ready to address any situations that may arise.
“Power and supplies are two of the most important elements,” he said. “We have checked generators. We have the necessary supplies. We have checked our communications system. Our Information Services team is ready. Virtually every department is involved in one way or another. There is so much that goes in to being ready for a potential situation like this.”
Staffing is also a critical element during an event like this, Kersey said.
“We need to ensure that always have the proper staffing levels in place,” he said. “If travel becomes difficult, we prepare some staff to be ready for an extended stay at the hospital, before or after their shifts.”
Kersey, who receives regular storm updates from the state, as well as monitoring it on his own, also works to continually keep the L+M team abreast of storm-related developments.
“We have prepared our Incident Command Center and are ready to open it quickly, if necessary,” said Kersey, who added that the center is opened as an internal base of operations to coordinate all necessary communications and outreach.
Offsite facilities are also monitored from the command center, Kersey said.
“There’s a lot to keep an eye on, a lot to be ready for,” he said. “This is why we have steps in place. It’s why we are ready to act at the earliest threat to ensure that we will be prepared and ready should a weather incident arise.”
While all of the work happening now is necessary, Kersey also added that regular operations are proceeding as normal.
“At this time, it is business as normal,” he said. “But, we are very much prepared to respond to any situation that Sandy may bring along.”