NWS Support to US Hospitals

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 12:00 AM
B206 (GWCC)
Margaret L. Fowke, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD

Hospital vulnerability is seldom mentioned as part of the national health care crisis, but is indeed a major concern. Severe weather impacts have resulted in millions of dollars in facility damages, life-threatening disruptions to health care for patients, and losses of major economic centers in U.S. communities. The National Weather Service (NWS) and private weather services provide available information that if and when properly used, can improve pre-event medical decisions resulting in lower financial costs to national medical centers, in addition to saving lives, facilities, and communities.

This presentation will feature weather decisions from recent severe weather impacts to medical care. The following weather impacts to US Hospitals will be featured:

1. Fire Weather Providence Holy Cross, Burbank, California

2. Flooding Mercy Medical, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

3. Tornadoes Sumter Regional, Americus, Georgia

4. Hurricanes Houston Medical Center, Houston, Texas

Attention will be given to lessons learned from the medical and emergency management staff who worked during these crisis events. Through their real life experiences, this presentation will relay how the inclusion or exclusion of weather products and services of emergency protocols in hospitals can improve decision support of critical medical issues.

The goal of this talk is to inform others in the meteorological services how the community's products, services, and communication (or relationships) with hospitals can facilitate greater inclusion of weather information for emergency decision-support in our nation's hospitals.