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Novant Health preparations for Hurricane Florence

Novant Health is making extensive preparations for the life-threatening conditions that Hurricane Florence is forecasted to bring to our communities later this week. We are working closely with state and local partners, including NC Healthcare Preparedness Coalitions and emergency management officials to ensure that our team members, their families, our patients, and our community will be cared for regardless of the weather. 

We are increasing our staffing levels, obtaining extra supplies and medications, topping off gas tanks, cleaning exterior drains, and securing loose items. Supplies of water, food, medications, linen and a myriad of other necessities have been stockpiled. A more in depth look at how Novant Health is preparing for Hurricane Florence can be found here. 

Brunswick Medical Center to remain open

Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center's emergency department will remain open to serve the coastal community during Hurricane Florence. Out of an abundance of caution, some patients at the medical center are being transferred to inland hospitals to continue to receive care until they are able to return home. All local Novant Health physician clinics, outpatient centers, imaging centers and medical record offices will be closed on Wednesday through the weekend.

Since travel is expected to be hazardous, medical staff caring for patients will be staying at the medical center during the storm. As part of the preparations, supplies of water, food, medications, linen and other necessities have been stockpiled for our team members and those needing medical care.

The Novant Health emergency preparedness team in the coastal area is in close contact with state and county emergency management officials. Once it is safe to travel again, damage assessment at physician clinics will take place and full services will be restored as soon as possible.

If you are an expecting mother at 37 weeks or more and are able to leave the area, we recommend you evacuate to a safe location accessible to a Novant Health facility. If you are unable to leave and have an urgent medical concern or go into labor, call 9-1-1 or call the hospital directly at 910-721-1000 and talk with a team member, who will consult a physician. It is important to remember that during severe weather an ambulance may be unable to reach you.  

 For families and friends of patients at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center, our team will be staying onsite to care for your loved ones. While we understand that you want to stay close to loved ones, each patient can have only one visitor stay at the hospital with them during the storm. This policy is in place for security reasons. All additional visitors will be required to depart the hospital by September 13th at 9 a.m. and will be allowed to return once conditions are safe to do so.  To call and check on a patient, call the hospital at 910-721-1000. 

What you can do:

· Stay weather-aware. Conditions can change quickly. Listen to your local government officials for specific instructions regarding evacuations and other emergency preparedness information. 

· Never drive through standing or flowing water. Cars and four-wheel-drive vehicles are regularly swept away when flooding hits. 

· Communications may be impacted. Consider asking a loved one in an unaffected area to be the central communications hub for your family. The American Red Cross offers additional assistance with finding family members. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS/1-800-733-2767 or visit the ARC Safe and Well site: www.safeandwell.org 

· Consider the impact of severe flooding in your community and seek local governmental safety advice. If you are staying in your home, prepare for several days without access to amenities. 

· If you need shelter, text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area or visit www.redcross.org/shelter. 

· In case of a medical emergency call 911. If you need to reach a patient at one of our hospitals, please call the hospital directly.  

Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2018