Severe Weather Drills Pay Off for Western State Hospital

By: Todd Corillo Email
By: Todd Corillo Email

Western State Hospital in Staunton prepared for severe weather in March by participating in a statewide tornado drill.

Those preparations were extremely useful last Thursday when severe weather and a tornado warning threatened the Staunton area.

Risk and Emergency Manager Mike Coss says staff monitored the weather all night and the hospital activated its call tree to alert the nursing staff in all the wards.

Personnel at the hospital say there are lessons all organizations in the Valley can learn from the recent severe weather.

"You figure out which ones are the most pertinent to you, and then you drill them, and you drill them a lot, because we tend to forget what we haven't just done. So we drill often and that way when you go to respond to any type of emergency, it feels like second nature," explains Ellen Harrison, the Director of Quality Assurance for Western State.

The hospital says, each time there is the threat of severe weather, it reassesses afterward to make sure its safety procedures remain relevant.


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