Augusta Health Prepared for Severe Weather

By: Janelle Lilley Email
By: Janelle Lilley Email

It's a building filled with windows to brighten up the rooms and the hearts of patients inside, but during a disaster, like a tornado, all the glass at Augusta Health can make it hard to keep patients safe.

Figuring out how to manage those emergency situations is Scott Masincup's job.

"It is important, and with the incidents we've had here locally as well as nationally, we have to put our best plans together and be able to implement them," says Masincup.

Being able to implement those plans requires practice. Augusta Health meets once a month to go through the protocols it has have in place.

With a tornado hitting so close to the hospital only a month ago, Sheila Brown says knowing what to do is not only comforting but empowering to hospital staff.

"In Stuarts Draft, the tornado touched down, and it was close enough to the hospital to make us think about are we really prepared? So, we want to make sure we're really prepared for any disaster, and we work on that continually," says Brown.

The emergency management group made some changes to its tornado plan and is now getting everyone on board.

"We would just come into the center core of the hospital whether it be to the center hallway, depending on time, and then we would pull the door shut so that way any glass or any debris or anything coming in it would be stopped by the door," demonstrates Masincup.

In addition to the monthly meeting, the hospital also performs what it calls 'surge' drills several times a year.

Those drills are as close to real life emergencies as it can make them, keeping staff prepared.


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