Hospitals and other healthcare facilities on the Gulf Coast of Florida are preparing for Hurricane Ian to reach land later this week.
Several Tampa Bay area hospitals were evacuated, according to Tampa Bay Times, while others canceled noncritical surgeries and appointments ahead of the storm. Nursing homes have also reportedly begun evacuating residents in areas that are at the highest risk of the storm.
Tampa General Hospital “will remain open to provide care during the storm,” according to a hospital statement. “We are taking significant precautions to ensure the continued safety of our patients and team members. Our number one priority remains the safety of our patients and team members.”
Heavy rainfall from Hurricane #Ian will spread across Florida during the next couple of days. There is a moderate risk of excessive rainfall across much of the Florida peninsula, and significant flooding impacts are expected. Turn Around, Don't Drown! For more info, see @NWSWPC. pic.twitter.com/HFRKyXkEnj— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 27, 2022
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra declared a Public Health Emergency for Florida to address health impacts as the state prepares for the hurricane. HHS has pre-positioned two 15-person health and medical task force teams from its National Disaster Medical System, a 13-person incident management team and two pharmacists to assist with the response in Florida. The teams are working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the federal Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response’s regional emergency coordinators and Florida health authorities and emergency response officials to determine additional federal public health and medical resources they might need to deploy to aid in responding to the hurricane.
“We will do all we can to assist Florida officials with responding to the health impacts of Hurricane Ian,” Secretary Becerra says in a statement. “We are working closely with state, local and tribal health authorities, as well as our federal partners, and stand ready to provide additional public health and medical support.”
Mackenna Moralez is the associate editor with the facilities market.