Barnes-Jewish Hospital reacts to New York City hospital evacuations

6:13 PM, Nov 2, 2012   |    comments
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By Tracy Clemons

St. Louis (KSDK) - Some New York hospitals are dealing with extra patients right now after evacuations from Superstorm Sandy.

Local hospital officials say Sandy has reminded them that anything can happen. In fact, one Barnes-Jewish Hospital official says its new mantra is to be prepared for the unexpected.

BJH Director of Regulatory Compliance and Environmental Health and Safety Jerry Glotzer says evacuations are a last resort, but if they have to evacuate, Barnes would move patients internally to different buildings on the campus.

"So our first choice, if we did have to go through that sort of cataclysmic response that New York is going through, we would look to be moving people internally to locations and buildings that are still functioning," Glotzer said. "We also have an agreement with Washington University Medical School to use some of their buildings on campus, as well as the College of Pharmacy. They have a large gymnasium. So we've actually set that up as an alternate care site during drills and exercises."

Barnes also has 24 generators spread throughout the campus and all of them are elevated for protection from flooding. They have a five day supply of fuel for those generators, and Glotzer says they have contracts with diesel supply companies if they run low. Since they're a hospital, they are at the top of the list to get fuel.

He says the much smaller-scale flooding from a water main break this summer led them to build a wall to protect the one generator that is not elevated.


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