Hunkering down for a hurricane in the ER in Miami?
September 8, 2017 3:18 PM   Subscribe

My dear friend is a trauma surgeon in Miami and has been assigned to work this weekend. He was hoping for Ryder, the rock-solid hospital proofed for Cat 5 storms with carefully organized plans & procedures...instead, he's stuck at The Other Hospital, the one that's demonstrated poor organization/staffing/prepping, the one that most certainly does not have their shit together, the one that can't even get their own AC properly regulated. He's bracing for power going out and medicine running out and doing the best he can with what he has. He's showing up with water & food & headlamps and...what else? I should perhaps feel less worried than I am (he's a med team mgr for FEMA search & rescue, so I'm sure will also bust out all his disaster skills as needed!) but I feel helpless and far away. I'm wondering if the hive mind has any words of wisdom to offer or lists of things to pack!
posted by red_rabbit to Science & Nature (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
(Only from what I've noticed on social media, not experience):
-Galoshes or hip waders
-Dry socks and changes of clothes double sealed in ziplocs
-Little hygeine items that will help his morale: toothpaste and brush, deodorant, washcloth for washing face, lip balm, lotion

I hope it works out okay.
posted by purple_bird at 3:35 PM on September 8, 2017

Backup portable cell phone chargers. Several of them.
posted by umwhat at 4:00 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Extra batteries of different sizes for flashlights, radios, etc.
posted by dilettante at 4:02 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Snacks. If the hospital is as bad as all that, they won't have stocked the physician break room. He will be able to change scrubs there, but socks and undies are nice to have if shit goes sideways. Other than that, there's really nothing he can do other than make sure that all the trays he will likely need are sterilized, harass the OR director for anything that's missing that he wants to have ready. Keep in mind that people who are lazy/don't give a sh&t during regular situations sometimes rise to the occasion during emergencies. He might find things run more smoothly this weekend. I think I know the facility you speak of- safety wise I think he'll be fine but it might be a pain in the ass for a while.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:33 PM on September 8, 2017

I suggest a reliable caffeine supply & whatever will help him sleep in a weird place- earplugs, sweatshirt etc.
posted by JulesER at 4:55 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

A communication plan.

I think your friend is well qualified to work through he chaos. What might help is having one person who is the person for him to get a message to and for other folks to check in with. He may not have a lot of time to worry about his own needs. Having a communication point person to keep friends and family assured about his status could help.

Similarly he might need someone to check on his house post storm. Or take in pets.
posted by countrymod at 5:46 PM on September 8, 2017 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: thank you all, these have actually all been helpful replies! i got a message that all is well, more or less - he showed up this morning for his shift and electricity was already partially out (no computer to access patient records or get notes done...would have been a good idea to perhaps print some things out), that the hospital was already out of water, that there was no coffee for the rest of the staff and that the only food left was corn flakes, a handful of Teddy Grahams and 5 forks. very good suggestions all on coming with food & water & caffeine & snacks (he was prepped!). we both loved the earplugs/toiletry suggestions too, he's hunkering down and hanging in. aaand it looks like the hurricane is going to skip Miami, for the most part.
posted by red_rabbit at 3:07 PM on September 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

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