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Crisis Communications for Hurricanes

By Jim McKay, writing for Emergency Management:

How the Medical University of South Carolina, a 700-bed medical center with six colleges, honed its crisis communications strategy and methodology and was able to continue operations during Hurricane Florence last September.

As Hurricane Florence whipped through the Carolinas creating havoc last September, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) had deployed its crisis communications operation to maintain continuity of operations to the Carolinas’ only comprehensive academic health center in South Carolina.

The university consists of a 700-bed medical center and six colleges. The medical center cares for very ill patients, from infants to the elderly and has no choice but to continue that care during a weather event like Florence.

Although the academic part of MUSC was closed during the hurricane, the medical university received a shelter-in-place waiver from the state to allow for 72-96-hour shifts by hospital personnel.

“We’re a very large academic medical center, but we need to maintain the continuity of operations on our medical side, whereas other hospitals along the coast don’t have the same resources or preparedness capabilities that we have and close and we will get their patients,” said Bryan Wood, MUSC emergency manager. “We need to maintain critical care to our community and work as a team with so many moving parts.”

For the rest of this piece, click here.

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