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Good Question: What do hospitals do during severe weather?

The National Weather Service has now declared the tornado that leveled parts of Joplin, Missouri an EF5.

It is a reminder that tornadoes do not discriminate in what they destroy.

One of its victims a major medical center where amazingly 180 people survived.

Good Question: What do hospitals do during severe weather?

With windows blown out and two floors missing St. John Regional Medical Center in Joplin took a direct hit Sunday.

What happened there has hospital administrators here in Lexington thinking about their fellow medical providers.

"The first thing is obviously concern and support for folks there knowing how difficult that must have been for them and how frightening," said Larry Gray, Vice President for Administration and Support Services at Central Baptist Hospital.

Gray's staff members routinely perform drills in preparation for emergencies like severe weather.

"Disasters and emergencies don't happen on our time schedules," said Gray.

Gray and his staff look to Joplin to assess their readiness.

"No matter what you do in terms of drills they are always going to be artificial situations, so when you have the opportunity to look at a situation like that you challenge yourself."

For tornadoes the hospital follows a plan much like you and I would at home.

"Immediate response is for the staff to move the patients to safety which is an interior corridor away from windows, shut the doors protecting them from glass and so forth."

In the event of a power loss, Central Baptist can be supplied power for five days by generators.

The hospital would also set up an Emergency Operations Plan with Command Center.

A cart holds equipment and notebooks with key information, readily available so that anyone an administrator or nurse could step in and take charge..

In the event of a natural disaster or some other kind of emergency Central Baptist stays in constant contact with other areas hospitals.

They also make sure to relay information to patients and staff in what they call plain speak so that everyone understands the seriousness of the situation.


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