With meteorologists predicting one of the worst ice storms of this decade, personal safety should be a number one priority. The hospitals in the Athens area are open and prepared for any emergency situations due to this inclement weather.
Elaine Cook, the public relations manager at Athens Regional Hospital, says the hospital started preparing for this winter storm as soon as the National Weather Service issued an advisory. She says they staffed nurses, stocked their food supply, and discharged as many patients as possible to avoid stranded patients.
Cook says they are fully staffed for their census today and tomorrow. She says they had nurses spend the night last night and will again tonight to ensure highest quality of service for their patients.
Mike Pilcher, head of media relations at Athens Regional, adds that essential staff are not required to spend the night; however, it is recommended. He says, “During inclement weather essential staff are expected to work” so, the hospitals try to make accommodations. He says they want to prevent employees from driving to and from work in these conditions so they prepare areas with beds. Pilcher says, “Spending the night is not a requirement.”
Cook also has three tips to avoid a trip to the emergency room in this winter weather:
1. Stay inside!
2. Stay warm. If you need to travel outside, dress in layers and non-slip shoes.
3. Stay in contact with family and your support system.
St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens had no comment as to their preparation for this storm. However, they are open throughout the storm.
In emergency situations call 9-1-1. To reach Athens Regional in non-emergency situations call 706-475-7000. To reach St. Mary’s call 706-389-3000.
Reporter: Devyn Mullis