Nurses in the path of Hurricane Irene


This hurricane sounds like it has the potential to be a major event in large, heavily populated cities. If you work at a hospital or nursing facility in the path of this storm, what precautions are being taken prior to landfall? Will you be required to stay at the hospital? What are they telling you about calling in sick or calling in unable to get there? If you are staying at the hospital, what arrangements are you making for children/family?

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Our facility is trying to make us all pack to stay. They have given no directions for our children. I certainly will not be leaving 4 kids at home to "tough it out" based on a hospital plan.:twocents:

Has 5 years experience.

I am in central NC and my hospital did a Code Major and Minor Triage drill yesterday. It shouldn't affect us to much since it's more out east, but I guess administration just wanted everyone to go over the steps in case we were somehow affected.

I have been wondering the same thing for hospitals along the coastline. I'll be checking back for more responses.

*Praying for all of those on the coast.*


16 Posts

A few years back I can remember going through hurricane Rita in L.C., LA. The hospital dwindled down to a skeleton crew as most nurses with children dashed home to evacuate. Luckily for the hospital most single nurses with no children volunteered to stand firm and ride the storm.


1,097 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Great thread. Please keep us posted as much as possible. After reading about the hospitals in New Orleans, I can only imagine what might happen. GOOD LUCK!

Specializes in L&D/Maternity nursing.

I am in NH and so far I haven't heard a word and I am on all weekend (both Sat and Sunday day shift).


15 Posts

I work at Virginia Beach General, normally weekend shift. They are telling me to pack a bag, be prepared to be in the hospital by early Saturday, and be prepared to stay until at least Monday morning. They are providing child care to people who absolutely have no other options. Everyone scheduled is required to be at work, and if you are scheduled to be in right when the hurricane is full force, then plan to come to work early. They are locking all doors and putting up security except the front ED entrance, as we are not a shelter. They are providing us with places to sleep, and it seems that if you are mandated to stay due to your schedule, you will get paid on call pay. I guess having to stay at the hospital is safer than trying to stay home for me.

Unfortunately, my home is right on the water on the Chesapeake Bay, so I am concerned we will get flooded out, and when I get back to my house Monday night, it will be a disaster. My BF wants to rough it out, but we will probably flood, so I think he is coming to his senses and will be staying with my Dad in Williamsburg.

Regardless, Norfolk and VA Beach are boarding up windows and buying out generators, bottled water, flashlights, canned food and batteries left and right. Hoping we don't have any serious injuries. I know my unit plans to be completely full in regards to pt census. :eek::uhoh3:

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

1 Article; 3,377 Posts

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 12 years experience.

Our hospital is on the coast of NJ, near NYC. We have a unit set up for staff to sleep if they can't leave. It's state of emergency, so all out staff have been asked to come in. We won't be manadated to work unless there is not adequate staff. We have had a few days notice, so most people were able to make arrangements for their children. I don't have kids, just two dogs, and I've had to make arrangements to have them boarded for the weekend. I'm scheduled for Saturday and Sunday and I fully anticipate being there through the night on Saturday. As a whole, the hospital is discharging people, if possible, but we have several kids in out PICU that aren't going anywhere.

Praying for safety for all involved.


75 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics, Lactation, Case Management. Has 19 years experience.

I am on the coast of NC and I work public health. We are the lucky ones that are manning the shelters. So, luckily I do get to take my daughter with me since hubby's in Afghanistan. I have to just pack enough caffeine to stay awake for the next 36 hours or so. We are not suppose to sleep during our shelter shifts. Yippee! haven't pulled an all nighter like that in mmmmaaannnyyyy years!!!

mmm cdiff

121 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics.

Northern NJ here. I've got a Sunday morning shift and am going in on Saturday afternoon to stay the night. I have no kids or anything, so why not?

Specializes in LTC. Has 6 years experience.

I a pediatric hh case on sat. if weather is bad then I'm not going in. I can't imagine staying overnight in a clients house.


143 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology. Has 28 years experience.

Nowhere near the storm being in western Canada, but praying for all those affected, especially my nursing colleagues who will be working.