Here’s how Charlotte hospitals are preparing for Hurricane Irma


Hospitals in the Charlotte area are stocking up on drugs and food to treat patients during Hurricane Irma.

“We’re ready for a stronger hurricane coming through Charlotte,” said Matthew Merritt, the emergency preparedness manager for Novant Health. The company owns Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center and other hospitals and health clinics in the city.

If severe weather impacts the Charlotte area, hospitals will be able to continue operating.

The Novant hospitals will be able to take in patients and move existing patients if needed, Merritt said.

A logistics center in Kannapolis stores supplies, including expendable materials such as gauze and bedpans, for Novant facilities, he said.

The hospitals also are stocked up on food and pharmaceuticals, Merritt said.

Novant has agreements with companies to bring in tankers of waters or fuel for generators, Merritt said.

Hospital staff, who will be able to stay on site during the storm, also are prepared to work during the disaster, he said.

Meanwhile, Carolinas HealthCare System has policies in place to ensure employees can both take care of their patients and remain safe at the facilities before and after their shifts, according to the company, which has medical facilities in Charlotte.

Carolinas HealthCare’s “Mobile Medicine” team, which includes planes, helicopters and critical care ambulances, are ready to respond. Last week, teams went to Houston to assist in air transports.

For those wanting to visit loved ones, visitation policies are not expected to change at Novant, Merritt said. “We find that having family and friends with a client is helpful,” he said.

If you have a medical emergency, call 9-1-1. A Novant nurse is available for consultation at 704-384-2273. Carolinas HealthCare anticipates all virtual care options to be available.

Cassie Cope: @cassielcope