Hurricane Ida: Louisiana Chief Medical Officer Explains How Hospitals are Preparing for the Worst

by Kati Michelle

Hurricane Ida is fast approaching the Gulf Coast and with the trouble, it has already caused offshore, its projected landfall destruction is cause for concern for a lot of citizens. Citizens continue to battle canceled flights and massive traffic jams in their preparation/evacuation.

On the other hand, hospitals are doing what they can now to prep for the storm due any time now. Louisiana Chief Medical Officer sat down with The Weather Channel to discuss how Louisiana hospitals are preparing for the worst.

You can catch their full discussion here:

Hurricane Ida Prep Needs: Fuel, Oxygen, and Beds

An influx of COVID patients over the past two weeks has pushed Louisiana to the top of a not-so-fun list. Currently, Louisiana ranks with the third-highest number of COVID hospitalizations per capita. As Hurricane Ida makes its arrival today, hospitals are doing the best they can with the supplies they have available in order to keep room for any new patients affected by the hurricane.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Catherine O’Neal, details frequent generator tests, safety plans, and confirming job responsibilities within teams as just some of the precautionary measures they have implemented. O’Neal also re-iterates how vital fuel and oxygen will be for current and future hospital patients.

There is a very limited supply of available hospital beds. O’Neal suggests people either shelter in place or find shelter through one of the city-appointed shelters to remain safe. She expects many people will face difficulty in getting emergency help once the storm reaches the city. Weather conditions will make it nearly impossible for ambulances and cars to navigate safely. Citizens are urged to triage themselves and only seek medical help when it is a life or death situation.

The hospitals are actively working with the city to meet needs as they arise.

NOW Upgraded to Category 5

It was previously thought that Hurricane Ida would remain a Category 4 Hurricane. However, its wind speeds have grown so much in MPH that authorities are now declaring it a Category 5 Hurricane. This means wind speeds of over 150mph.

In an eerie coincidence, Hurricane Ida is now coming landfall on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Katrina was a Category 3 storm when it hit 16 years ago to the day. Its destruction changed the Gulf forever. Over 1800 lives were lost and $100 billion dollars worth of damage was reported.

The time for prep unfortunately passed, and now the focus needs to remain on safety.

We are actively on top of all the Hurricane Ida news and will continue to pump out more information as it comes in.