Tampa General Hospital prepares for threat of Hurricane Irma

Wikimedia Commons photo credit Blogotron

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Hospitals in the area are preparing for Hurricane Irma and have a difficult decision to make on whether to evacuate.

A number of hospitals are monitoring the storm and don’t plan on evacuating unless necessary.

Tampa General Hospital has a unique situation. It is on an island and could be the first to experience any rising waters.

“It’s very hard for us to move the patients,” said TGH Emergency Management Director Tony Venezia. “They’re just too sick. So the acuity of our patients… They’re getting better care here if we can just maintain that level of care at the hospital.”

Rather than move patients, they’ve moved machinery.

The air conditioning moved to the second floor. Power is on the floor three.

TGH also has was it calls the “ICC,” it’s own version of an emergency operations center.

“So this is kind of our ground zero… coordinating center. So as issues come in, we try to triage and coordinate and solve the problems and then push it back out to our staff,” said Erinn Skiba, of TGH Emergency Management.

While most hospital staff will be there to weather the storm, TGH’s AeroMed staff wil be taking off it Irma eyes Tampa Bay.

Remaining here could damage aircraft and in the end, cost lives.

“Right now we’re looking at two options,” said John Scott. “One, hangaring the aircraft where they would be safe during the storm itself, or should we fly the aircraft out of the state and then fly them back into the state once the storm has left. Both options are being discussed.”



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