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Hospitals and pharmacies preparing for potential impacts from Hurricane Florence

Updated: Sep. 11, 2018 at 8:00 AM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - As Hurricane Florence approaches the Atlantic Coast, hospitals in our area are preparing for the potential impacts from the storm. Director of emergency management at Conway Medical Center, Daniel Adamczyk, says they are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. That's why they have a disaster plan in place. Conway Medical Center is not in an evacuation zone and Adamczyk said the emergency department plans to stay open and accept patients through the storm. He said CMC will work closely with government agencies and other hospital organizations to ensure patients will be transferred safely, if needed.

Hurricane Florence could knock out power and could cause some major problems. However, Adamczyk said the hospital is ready for that too. He said with their extra generators, they will be able to keep the power running for at least 93 hours. If the rough weather creates a delay in deliveries, Adamczyk says they want to make sure the hospital is stocked with supplies.

"Materials management has already reached out to secure and procure supplies from various vendors ahead of the storm so that we are ready for supplies, and we're ready for anything. If this storm were to hit anywhere along the Carolinas, we would anticipate a surge on supplies from our vendors, so we have to be ready to stock those supplies," said Adamczyk.

The pharmacy staff at Conway Medical Center is also working around the clock to prepare for any potential impacts from Hurricane Florence. Pharmacists want you to consider your medication and health needs. They say now is the time to check your medication supplies to determine if you need any medications refilled. Pharmacy director at Conway Medical Center, Robert Gajewski, said if you take medications on a regular basis, make sure to get with your pharmacy now. He recommends having at least a 7 to 10 day supply of medications on hand in their original containers. Also, having a clear list of your medications with you will not only be helpful to first responders, but will also help if you are displaced and need to fill medications.

For those who take medications that need to be refrigerated, Gajewski said most can be stored outside the fridge for a certain amount of time, but it's important to check first. A good idea is to put them in a Ziploc bag and place it on top of the ice in a cooler. 

Over at Conway Medical Center, Gajewski says the pharmacy staff is preparing for any potential impacts from Hurricane Florence to keep the patients and community covered.

"What we're doing is we're evaluating all our inventory. We're trying to make sure that we have plenty in stock when the storm reaches us - and especially being prepared for after the storm because we never know what the situation is going to be - if transportation is going to be hampered, power is going to be out, so we want to make sure that we put 7 to 10 days of supply of medications and supplies in stock here at the hospital," said Gajewski.

If your medications do get wet or damaged with flood water, it's important you dispose of them safely. Gajewski said he recommends flushing them down the toilet and reaching out to an available healthcare provider for a new prescription.

For a list of closings and cancellations ahead of Hurricane Florence, click here.

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