Dialysis providers prepared for the worst from Hurricane Michael this week as the storm brought 155 mph winds and flooding to the shorelines of central Florida.
“We have been treating patients ahead of the storm and staging relief supplies as we did with Hurricane Florence,” Fresenius Medical Care North America spokesperson Brad Puffer said to Healio.com/Nephrology. “Our staff has also sent patients home with emergency kits and a plan for getting their next treatment.” Puffer said company emergency response teams estimated the hurricane had the potential to impact 350 Fresenius Kidney Care clinics across Alabama, Florida and Georgia and 16,000 patients.
Depending on the intensity of the storm, Fresenius has access to one of its largest disaster response warehouses in Mobile, Alabama, “so we are only a couple hours from the impact area and will be ready to respond with gas and water trucks, generators, high water vehicles and other supplies to support our patients and employees,” Puffer said.
The hurricane left the Florida panhandle and was heading toward Georgia and South Carolina on Oct. 10.
“The storm was moving toward the northeast near 21 mph (33 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue with an increase in forward speed through tonight,” according to an update from the National Hurricane Center. “On the forecast track, the center of Michael will move through eastern Georgia into central South Carolina, then moves across portions of central and eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia into the Atlantic Ocean by early Friday.”
News reports indicated on Oct. 10 that 500,000 people in Florida were without power and officials said roughly 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast had been urged or ordered to evacuate. – by Mark Neumann