About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
Spotsy Regional preparing for storm
Officials at the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center have stockpiled emergency supplies and arranged for key staff members to stay in the building overnight. They say they’re as ready as they can be for 24 hours of bad weather.
“Our priority is to keep everybody calm and keep business as usual,” said Bryan Workman, director of operations for the hospital.
Hurricane Irene is scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning and stay until mid-morning Sunday. If forecasts are correct, it will bring high winds, heavy rain and power outages to the region.
Workman said Spotsylvania Regional has tested its twin, 1500-KV diesel generators and expects them to kick in seconds after any widespread power loss. The hospital also has 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel in storage to operate the generators.
“We can physically operate this building just like we were on normal utility,” Workman said.
Hospital officials also have stockpiled food, bottled water, bandages and even plywood and power tools, in case windows are blown out.
“I’ve got 96 hours of pharmaceuticals on hand,” Workman added.
The hospital set up its emergency operations center today and will probably activate it tomorrow. Several of its administrators and some clinical staff from its surgical teams will stay in the hospital tonight and tomorrow night in case they are needed, Workman said.
(For more on preparations at all three local hospitals, see the story tomorrow in the paper. The National Weather Service’s hurricane information can be found here.)