skip navigation
    National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) check current status
   

  



Weather Emergency Plan

PURPOSE:
To establish the actions taken prior to, during and after severe weather that threatens life health or property.

SCOPE:
This plan applies to all employees of Sandhills Regional Medical Center and relates to rain, wind, snow and ice emergencies. 

OBJECTIVES:
1. To define the procedure to be followed for the preparation and removal of snow and/or ice.
2. To define the procedure to be followed for the preparation and protection of patients, visitors and staff when atmospheric conditions are favorable for the formation of (a) tornado(s).
3. To detail the immediate actions to be taken when a tornado has been sighted in the area.
4. To detail the responsibilities for preparations during the approach of hurricanes.

RESPONSIBILITY:
Chief Executive Officer will be responsible for activation of this plan and directing activities in the Control Center and communication with the media as required.

Chief Operating Officer will assist the Chief Executive Officer with and compliance with this plan, activate the plan in the absence of the Chief Executive Officer and assist with directing activities and communications from the Control Center.

Administrator on Call will activate this plan in the absence of the Chief Executive Officer or Chief Operating Officer.

Safety Officer shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with this plan.

Nursing Supervisor shall direct all nursing activities, upon activation of this plan, until and if relieved by the Control Center.

Department Managers shall ensure staff responds promptly to this plan.

All Hospital Employees will comply with this plan.

DEFINITIONS:
Tornado: a rapidly rotating column of air that is attached to a thunderstorm and is in contact with the ground.

Funnel Cloud: a rotating cone-shaped column of air extending down from the base of the clouds. When the funnel reaches the ground, it is called a tornado.

Tornado Watch: National Weather Service alert issued when conditions become favorable for the formation of tornadoes.

Tornado Warning: National Weather Service alert issued when a tornado has been sighted or detected by Doppler radar. 

ELEMENTS:

Policy:

1. The following provisions will be stored on site:
a. Snow shovels, ice scrapers, brooms.
b. Sand.
c. At least ten (10 lbs.) of chemical de-icer.
d. Walk off mats, (interior and exterior).
e. 4’ x 8’ plywood.
f. 2” x 4” studs.
g. Dry wall screws.
h. Rolls of plastic or drop cloths.
a. Reinforced (duct) tape.

3. The Emergency Department shall monitor for weather emergencies continuously.

4. In all weather emergencies, the National Weather Service will issue the appropriate alert.

Procedure:

Snow and Ice:

1. The Administrator on Call will call in Facilities Services personnel to remove accumulated snow from sidewalks and entrances.
2. Local vendors will be called to remove large accumulations of snow from the parking lots. 
3. Sidewalks and steps will be treated with approved ice melting compounds when temperature allows.
4. Extensions, cancellations and modifications to regularly scheduled shifts shall be at the discretion of the Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer (as appropriate) and be dependent upon the predicted or observed severity of the Winter Storm.
5. Transportation for staff shall be coordinated by the Chief Operating Officer or designee.

Tornado Watch: (Threat Condition Tango)

1. When the National Weather Service announces a “Tornado Watch” for Hamlet, Richmond County, or the immediate vicinity: the Chief Executive Officer (or the “Administrator on Call” in his absence) shall be notified by Emergency Room Staff.
2. If necessary the Chief Executive Officer (or the Administrator on Call in his absence) shall announce a “Director’s Meeting in the Education Classroom” and if necessary the phased recall system will be initiated.
3. If outside normal working hours Department Managers will be notified via local news media of the tornado watch.
4. Hospital staff will stay alert for approaching storms by monitoring radio, television or online/internet service.
5. Turn off non-essential equipment.
6. Start the Emergency Generator as a precaution.
7. To the extent possible, keep all blinds, curtains shut and internal doors open.
8. The modality of patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) shall be reviewed by appropriate and available personnel for possible evacuation from the ICU.
9. To the extent, possible prepare charts and essential equipment for immediate transportation should the situation deteriorate to a “Tornado Warning”.
10. When the “Tornado Watch” has expired staff will be notified by overhead announcement.

Tornado Warning: (Code Grey)

1. When the National Weather Service announces a “Tornado Warning” for Richmond County, the Emergency Department will notify the PBX operator.
2. Immediately and without further instruction the PBX operator will announce on the hospital paging system: "Code Grey” three times.
3. Immediately and without further instruction, the ICU staff shall transport patients (except patients identified during Threat Condition Tango above) to the area surrounding the second floor Nurses Station.
4. Ventilator patients can be moved to Out Patient waiting or the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) as appropriate.
5. Those patients exempted by appropriate review during Threat Condition Tango shall remain in their rooms. The blinds should be drawn all appropriate precautions against flying glass taken.
6. Immediately and without further instruction, the Telemetry staff shall transport non-ambulatory patients to the area surrounding the second floor Nurses Station. Ambulatory patients shall be directed to the Second floor Nurses Station.
7. Immediately and without further instruction, Acute Care staff shall transport non-ambulatory patients to the area surrounding the third floor nurses station. Ambulatory patients shall be directed to the area surrounding the third floor nurses station.
8. Mental Health shall direct patients to areas of relative safety within the Mental Health Unit (MHU). These areas include:

a) Seclusion (PS106)
b) Offices (PS105 & PS107)
c) Staff area (PS104)
d) Group Area (PS103)
e) Exam room (PS102)
f) Laundry Area (PS101)

9. Immediately and without further instruction, the Emergency Department will transport patients to areas of relative safety within the department.
These areas include:

a) Staff area (ER126)
b) Consult area (ER130)
c) Hallways (ER128 & ER127)
d) Treatment 1 (ER121)
e) Trauma 2 (ER119)
f) Trauma 3 (ER118)
g) Treatment 8 (ER110)

10. All fire doors are to remain shut until the threat passes.
11. Remain calm and do not alarm patients.
12. When the tornado warning/watch has expired the PBX operator will announce "Code Grey All Clear" three times.
13. If the hospital received damage during the weather emergency, the Chief Executive Officer will determine whether to initiate the Evacuation Plan.
14. If conditions in the surrounding community warrant the Chief Executive Officer may initiate the hospital's Emergency Preparedness Plan

Hurricane: (Threat Condition Sierra)

1. The Safety Officer will maintain vigilance for the approach of hurricanes.
2. Whenever the predicted storm track places Sandhills Regional Medical Center or the surrounding communities in the path of an approaching hurricane, the Safety Officer will ensure the Chief Executive Officer or the Administrator-On-Call is informed.
3. When directed by Administration (approx. 72 hours before the storm) the responsible department heads will be instructed to inventory their supplies and prepare a list of material that needs to be ordered.
4. When directed by Administration (approx. 48 hours before the storm) Materials Management will ensure all necessary supplies have been ordered for immediate delivery.
5. When directed by Administration (approx. 24 hours before the storm) Facilities Services will cover or secure exterior openings appropriately.
6. As the situation requires Administration will take some, all or none of the following actions:

a. Call a “Director’s Meeting in the Education Classroom”.
b. Activate the “Command Center”.
c. Commence “Phased Recall”.
d. Issue a “Code Green”.

7. When the situation has passed, Administration will inform Department Managers via phone or runner.