Memorial Hermann hospitals prepare for Tropical Depression aiming at Texas

Friday, August 21, 2020
Memorial Hermann hospital prepares for Tropical Depression aiming at Texas
Hospital officials said they are prepared to handle severe weather during a pandemic.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Dealing with a tropical storm or hurricane is a challenge. Now, add COVID-19 to that, and it only makes things more complicated for health care workers.

Being in the Gulf, Texas hospitals and health care systems are somewhat used to tropical weather and they have hurricane plans in place, but this time, there's an added challenge.

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"As we're prepping for hurricanes, we're still managing a pandemic," said Tom Flanagan, vice president of Life Flight for Memorial Hermann.

As of now, hospital officials are planning to handle the storm and the pandemic. Hospitals are currently getting their facilities ready and ensuring they have enough supplies.

"We've got to have the provisions to provide for 96 hours of food, water, linens, supplies, pharmaceuticals and fuel for our generators," said Flanagan.

Hospitals also preparing for staffing. They have one group that comes before the storm hits to make sure everything is in place called "Team A" . Then, the second team, "Team B," arrives eight hours before the storm to ride it out at the hospital.

"Team A goes home, and Team B arrives. Team B will be the team, that once it makes landfall, they are in position, they're in place and they are prepared to stay for 96 hours," said Flanagan.

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Once the storm has passed and it's safe, Team A comes back in to relieve Team B.

After dealing with COVID-19 for months and a number of storms and hurricanes, Memorial Hermann feels prepared to deal with both.

"Keep your thoughts and prayers with the health care providers. They have really been stepping up through all this pandemic, and now for hurricane preparedness," said Flanagan.

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