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Hurricane Irene Spurs Emergency Home Medical Services for Patients
Date:9/2/2011

ine ventilator patients before the storm, and spent two days prior the storm delivering extra back-up cylinders," said Stacey Cannon, assistant branch manager of Roberts Home Medical in Newport News, Virginia. "We spent approximately 40 hours after the storm delivering replacement back-up cylinders. We are still monitoring and delivering back-up oxygen to the handful of patients who are still without electricity."

Allcare Medical in Old Bridge, New Jersey activated its emergency operations plan the Thursday before the storm arrived.  David Fuhrman, senior director at Allcare, said the company had conducted drills for the scenarios and conducts an annual hazard vulnerability analysis.  "Although we have not had a hurricane before, we have had severe weather and the problems that ensue, and we were prepared to meet the challenge," he said.

Home medical equipment providers in other mid-Atlantic and New England states also helped patients beginning as early as Thursday, August 25, lining up extra supplies and contacting patients.  

Frank Trammell, president of Carolina's Home Medical Equipment, Inc. in Matthews, North Carolina, said, "Although Hurricane Irene posed no real threat to the Charlotte area, we used this as an opportunity to kick our emergency preparedness plan into gear for a practice run. We called all of our oxygen patients to ensure that all their back up tanks were, in fact, full and that they had a plan in the event of an extended power outage. I look at this exercise as a win-win as our customers were very appreciative of our proactive efforts and we had the chance to practice our emergency plan. We were fortunate to have avoided Irene's path."  

These are just some of the types of extra steps taken by hundreds of durable medical equipment providers nationwide during emergencies, whether caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, excessive heat, flooding, ice storms, or heavy snows. The compa
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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