How Hospitals Keep Facilities Running During Severe Weather


HARRISONBURG, Va. -- With the weather, employees at Rockingham Memorial Hospital are doing what they can to make sure the hospital continues to run smoothly.

In case of any emergencies, they ask that you call 9-1-1 instead of trying to venture out in dangerous conditions.

At the hospital, there are plenty of back up systems in place to keep all power and equipment running.

Employees can stay overnight to ensure they can work shifts and if roads are impassable, volunteers with trucks come together to make sure staff can get to the hospital.

In the boiler and electric rooms,there are three systems in place.

The boilers can run on methane or natural gas and there are also two diesel based generators.

Facilities Director Paul Ketron said the biggest difficulty will be making sure staff aren't disrupted while they help patiences.

"The biggest thing is the rotation of people in the parking lots as far as we have 24 hours a day and staff coming and going at all times. It's sometimes difficult if the snow gets very deep to get into those lots and plow them unless we move the staff around, and we're trying to not disrupt patient care," Ketron said.

With the power system in place, it takes 12 seconds for these switches to automatically change to the generator system.

Once the generator system kicks in, there will only be emergency power for 30 seconds before it switches back to what the lighting normally looks like.

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