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Amid challenges, Cornwall Regional readies for hurricane season

Published:Tuesday | June 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer

Added to the air-quality crisis that Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in

St James has been trying to remedy, administrators at the institution have been stocking up on food items and medical supplies in preparation for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

In a recent Gleaner Editors' Forum at the newspaper's North Street offices in Kingston, administrators said buildings that now housed the hospital's operations after relocation from the main building, could withstand up to a Category Three hurricane.

The 2018 hurricane season began June 1, and international experts predict roughly three major hurricanes at Category Three strength or more.


Not worried


"Where we are now housing our patients is in buildings that survived Hurricane Gilbert, so, we are not worried that would be a problem," Delroy Fray, clinical coordinator at the health facility, informed the Editors' Forum.

Senior Medical Officer Derek Harvey explained that if there was a major hurricane, non-emergency patients would be sent home to make space for urgent cases.

"Once you hear hurricane, you have to start the discharge process. The bed count would start going down for urgent cases. Stocking up has started. Specifically for the hospital, we have to have food, water and stand-by generators. We have to have a collection of oxygen, personnel and lighting," Harvey said.

Harvey added: "We have a disaster team. The buildings should be able to withstand a Category Three hurricane. Patients are protected, but supportive equipment is on the balcony. So we will be looking at things like that. If something happens, there is space on the third floor (of the main building). I would say, let's go to the main building as a matter of survival."