New Orleans hospitals make tougher storm plans

Few hospitals have been through the kind of trauma faced by New Orleans facilities during Hurricane Katrina. No one at the city's Charity Hospital, in particular, can forget being trapped there with sick and dying patients as the city struggled to recover from flooding. But as hospitals must, given their 24-hour-a-day mission, the city's facilities are preparing to try again if faced with another emergency. Among other steps, they're digging wells, stockpiling supplies and buying satellite phones and sturdy radios to make sure that this time, they're prepared for a week or more of chaos. Hospitals are also transforming their infrastructure to prepare for high water and wind, in part by boosting generators above potential flood levels and upgrading air conditioners to prevent stifling indoor heat after a storm. Hospitals have also beefed up their evacuation plans, for use if all of their other preparations fail.

To find out more about the hospitals' plans:
- read this Times-Picayune piece