Hospitals and Hurricanes: Preparing to Care for You

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For hospitals and your family, hurricane season means getting — and staying — prepared for hurricanes and tropical storms. While these weather events can strain resources and present significant challenges for hospitals, know that the AdventHealth hospital in your neighborhood is taking steps to prepare for storm season and making plans for how to care for you in the middle of a hurricane, if you need us.

Knowing what to expect from your hospital during a hurricane can help you prepare, should you need to seek treatment during a storm. This will alleviate stress and ensure you receive the best possible care.

Call Ahead to Confirm Your Hospital’s Status

During a storm, our hospitals operate to the best of their ability in the given circumstances and want to still give you the care you deserve. Sometimes, though, closures are necessary during a storm for everyone’s safety.

If you need hospital care during a storm, call ahead to your hospital to make sure they’re accepting patients. Some hospitals may be evacuated or partially evacuated, and some non-essential services may be moved to other neighboring or in-network hospitals to free up room and staff in emergency rooms. Calling before you leave home will ensure you go to the right place for the treatment you need.

Have Patience With Your Hospital Team as Resources May Be Constrained

Some hospitals that are outside the path of the storm may have full resources to care for each patient. However, hospitals located in the path of a hurricane or strong tropical storm will likely be directly affected.

Keep these limitations in mind when you arrive at the hospital. But be assured that your comfort, care and safety is our priority.

Expect New Safety Processes and Precautions for Your Protection

In addition, emergency response during 2020 also must account for precautions against the spread of COVID-19. At our hospitals, you can expect:

  • A temperature check before entering the hospital 

  • Masks are mandatory for all patients and providers

  • Separate care areas for people who have COVID-19 symptoms

  • Social distancing measures in waiting areas

  • Visitor limitation

Your health and safety, and that of our team members, is our priority. If you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have been exposed to coronavirus, alert hospital staff when you arrive or the EMS over the phone if you make an emergency call. Doing so will allow them to protect you and themselves. If you have access to a mask or face covering, please put it on before you leave the house.

While We Offer Care, Hospitals Aren’t Shelters

Your well-being matters to us, and we want you to stay safe during a storm. Our hospitals can’t act as shelters, however. At acute care hospitals, resources are committed to caring for patients who must remain there during the duration of the storm. We aren’t equipped to serve as a mass evacuation shelter and can’t provide the services an official shelter can provide, like food and a place to stay.

To make sure you have a plan in case you need shelter, you can download the FEMA app for real-time access to the list of shelters that are open near you.

We’re Here for You With Virtual Doctor Visits

Many health care systems, including AdventHealth, offer virtual or online doctor care where you can see a doctor on your computer, smartphone or tablet. This option allows you to videoconference with your providers to receive diagnoses and treatment for minor health concerns. Virtual visits are usually lower in cost than traditional office visits as well.

You can use virtual care for common medical conditions, such as:

  • Cold and flu symptoms

  • Lower back pain

  • Minor burns, cuts, bumps and scrapes

  • Pink eye

  • Seasonal allergies

  • Skin conditions

  • Urinary tract infections

If a prescription is needed, your doctor can call it in to your pharmacy during your virtual appointment.

Use the AdventHealth App for Immediate Virtual Care

You can access virtual care through the AdventHealth app, which can be downloaded via most mobile device app stores. Once downloaded, create or log in to an existing AdventHealth account. Then click on “find care” at the bottom of the screen and select the icon for “set up a video visit.”

Nothing Is More Important to Us Than You

We’re here to protect you and keep you safe, long before and well after the 2020 hurricane season. Learn more about the extra precautions we’re taking in every facility to keep you safe from COVID-19, or learn more about virtual care or the AdventHealth app.

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