Natural disasters while at work

  1. Shay's thread about full moons made me think of this. I have been through a major fire, a power failure that took 30 minutes for power to be restored to the ICU's and 24 hours for the rest of the hospital, several floods of the main lobby and one of the entire first floor, and a phone failure-the entire switchboard went down.
    What fun things have you lived through at work? Have you ever thought you were hearing a waterfall while standing near the elevator because of the water pouring intot he main lobby. It was actually funny, the water kept making the automatic door sensors open the doors so more water came rushing in!
    Driving into work thru Noreasterns and Blizzards has made life interesting too!!
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   jevans
    Hi Nancy
    I've not been involved in a natural disaster but when I worked as an industrial nurse when there was a gas explosion
    I only had 1 shower for decontamination or treatment of burns.
    It was the most scariest time of my career. 30 casualties and no back up, Support came 30 mins. later
    Soon went back to hospital work. Far safer. My hat goes off to those that can survive this type of nursing
    j
  4. by   mattsmom81
    25 years of crazy stuff to remember:

    CB radio communications only with snowmobiles transporting nurses, docs and patients to hospitals during blizzards. (My Minnesota days

    Moving all my ICU patients to the central hallway (bagging my vents and asking visitors to help) while tornados were all around the hospital. One family I remember was angry and said "How can you take care of my mother out here in the hall?" . I replied my priority at the moment was to keep the tornado from killing her in a window-walled ICU.

    Caring for victims of the Delta jet crash here in Dallas in the mid 80's...some my age may remember. It was a circus...some awesome survivors whose stories and bravery I'll always remember...and those who came out without a scratch, but played it up for media/lawsuits. I hated dodging reporters while trying to do my job, and dealing with malingerers when there were critically ill people to care for.

    A bomb threat...all the administrators left the building...(no big surprise there) the nurses and firemen searched for the bomb, which never materialized.

    Numerous power outages which are always fun in ICU with all the vents, etc. What's not fun is when the backup generator fails too....

    No major fires...just smoldering wastebaskets or overheated wires (thank God) . A major fire would be the scariest of all to me....just the thought makes me sweat.
  5. by   Dplear
    last years Tropical Storm Allison, and the ensuing floods of houston and the medical canter. Never care to go through that again. I also have been through man made disasters such as car bombings bus bombings and bar bombings....the fun days of being stationed in Greece in the mid 80's.

    Dave
  6. by   P_RN
    Hurricaine Hugo, 3 tornados, I got stuck in the elevator for 2 hours, chemical spill that admitted 65 people, hopper on the 9th floor flooded our unit with poopy stuff.

    And there have been several blizzards (in SC 2" is a blizzard-OK?) where I was among the few to report. I drove 50 miles and the folks who lived down the street from the hospital called in.....hmmmm.

    A train wreck we all got called in to manage and NOT ONE PASSENGER came to our ER. The tiny hospital nearby the train handled it all!

    Just the usual stuff.
  7. by   Stormy
    Probably the scariest one was the airplane crash into the side of the hospital. The hospital is built a few blocks off the end of the airport runway. Not so smart.

    I have also worked when there was a contamination of the city water supply. The whole town was completely out of water for days. They brought bottled water in. We were out of water over New Year's one year as well. Don't remember the reason, just that there was no water.
  8. by   KaraLea
    Where I live in Texas gets flooded every few years. I have had to call into work saying that I couldn't get through the "low water crossings". I have also had to stay over at work because I couldn't get home.
  9. by   obtnt
    We had a brief power outage during a severe storm once and the power went out during a cesarean section!! The procedure was halted (OBVIOUSLY) and the CRNA happened to have a flash light. That saved the moment and soon the generator kicked in and we continued on. Needless to say, it was a scarey situation for a minute and the pt was aware of everything and this added to the stress of the whole ball of wax. I hope to never be in that situation again!
  10. by   petiteflower
    TORNADOS!!!!!!
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    EARTHQUAKES....the 6.8 we had in the Seattle area was a TREAT for those working on our labor and delivery unit. There was a csection in our OR AND a vaginal delivery at the pushing stage going at that exact time it happened. VERY tense to say the least..... Also, been thru a couple tornadoes in the area and serious hail storms in the southern plains while at work. Thinking of how to evacuate mommies and babies all at once, you have to be quick, but at least the mommies can WALK and CARRY the babes. Not too much fun, still.......
  12. by   CashewLPN
    emptying the hospital for 9/11 is up there...

    snowstorms... as in being laid over for ages(or so it seemed)
    well... we all know now to keep clean undies in the lockers...

    --Barbara
  13. by   zumalong
    Oh with our wonderful weather here in western new york. The ice storm of '91. We lost power to over 900,000 homes in a 7 county area. Some of us went without power for almost 2 weeks.

    We worked 12 hours on 12 hours off (slept in DOSA unit) Even after we were able to go home, my house had no power, water, heat for almost 10 days. I remember going into empty room to take my shower in the morning. If you were one of the lucky ones to regain power sooner, the rest of us without power began to resent you. Good thing only lasted 2 weeks!!!

    THen as nursing instructor in Warsaw--several years back one of my students called us into her patient's room--she pointed out the "cute pink fluffy cloud with the tail". It was a TORNADO. We had to move all patients to stairwell--thank God did not strike hosp. At graduation that year I gave her the fluffy cloud award. (I took a tampon and colored it pink )

    Many snow storms that you get used to (at least we don;t usually get dumped on like Buffalo who is only 60 miles away). 9

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