Hospitals brace for Hurricane Irene

Already shaken from Tuesday's East Coast earthquake, hospitals along the Atlantic are preparing for Hurricane Irene, a Category 3 hurricane anticipated to be one of the worst in decades with threats of floods and wind gusts reaching up to 110 mph (according to Weather.com's Hurricane Tracker at press time).

Hospitals stretching from North Carolina to New Jersey are preparing with lock downs, stockpiling, and even evacuations.

New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut already have declared a state of emergency, reports the New York Times.

For instance, New York City is evacuating hospitals, as well as nursing homes, senior centers, and psychiatric facilities in low-lying areas by Friday night, reports NY 1. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg previously ordered five hospitals reduce caseloads and cancel elective surgeries and recommended that ambulances carrying patients to hospitals take higher ground, reports the Times.

Cape Fear Hospital and Pender Memorial Hospital in North Carolina will go on lock down on Friday night, in which all elective surgeries and procedures that were originally scheduled for Saturday are now cancelled, according to a WECT 6 article. Visitors will not be allowed in, and family members are advised to only speak with providers if they have concerns.

St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport and Milford Hospital, both in Connecticut, are stocking up on food and fuel, estimated to last over the next four to five days, according to a Connecticut Post article.

Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn., also is ensuring that the roads are free from debris.

"A lot of times, the storm's impact isn't necessarily on the facility itself, but on the community surrounding it," said Joseph Burnette, EMS and emergency management coordinator.

For more information:
- check out the Hurricane Tracker
- read the NYT article
- here's the NY 1 article
- read the WECT 6 article
- read the Connecticut Post article

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