Plan for severe weather this spring

April 13, 2015  //  FOUND IN: Announcements, Updates & Resources,

Please help ensure the safety of all patients, faculty, staff and visitors by learning how to best prepare for severe weather conditions caused by thunderstorms and tornadoes.

While the state had an average number of tornadoes last year, it was the lighting, severe thunderstorm wind and hail, and flooding that was responsible for one of the most damaging severe weather seasons in Michigan’s history. As part of Michigan Severe Weather Awareness week, April 12-18, please review our health system’s plans for various weather situations.

UMHS Employees: Employees can make sure they are prepared for severe weather by:

  • Following weather reports and alerts.
  • Paying attention to Internal Homepage items and Global emails about weather.
  • Speaking with supervisors ahead of time about how to prepare for severe weather.

The U-M Emergency Alert system delivers urgent updates via e-mail, text and phone calls. Individuals can register up to two phone numbers to receive phone call notifications and one number to receive text messages to ensure they are always kept up to date. Registration is available on the university’s Emergency Alert website.

Supervisors, Managers and Department Heads: Supervisors and department heads should read Global emails, monitor the UMHS Internal Homepage website, and listen for overhead announcements regarding severe weather alerts and updates.

If a severe thunderstorm warning is activated, staff should:

  • Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of your home or business, if possible.

If a tornado warning is activated:

If you are at work in a UMHS clinical facility it is your responsibility to ensure that other staff, visitors and patients are aware of this warning. All staff, patients and visitors should remain indoors and avoid pane glass windows until the warning has expired or been canceled.

Please review procedures to follow in case of a tornado warning. This includes your unit’s emergency plan and the UMHS Severe Weather Plan.

Staff should:

  • Clear hallways and corridors of all materials, supplies, carts, medical equipment, etc.
  • Close all doors, blinds and draperies and pull down shades to minimize danger of flying glass.
  • Secure moveable objects.
  • Have flashlights, battery-operated radios, portable oxygen, and CPR arrest cart available.
  • Assign one person to monitor, local media and Global User Email for updates.

Patient movement and care:

Ambulatory/Semi-Ambulatory patients: Move patients and visitors away from pane glass windows (not glass block) to rooms in the center of the building or corridors. Provide seats and blankets, if available. Record where patients and visitors have been moved.

Non-Ambulatory patients: If possible, move patients with beds into the corridors. For critically ill patients or patients who cannot be moved, provide heavy blankets, bedspreads, pillows or other covering to protect patients from flying debris.

If you are at a non-clinical or offsite location: Move to the lower level of the building, such as a basement, for protection, if possible. If there is no basement, move to an interior room on the lowest level of the building.

If you are not at work: Take cover. Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If in a mobile home, vehicle or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.

If a tornado damages a building:

Managers/Supervisors/Staff: Notify all staff and visitors in the area of the situation. Manager/supervisor will take charge and instruct staff to:

  • Assign one person to monitor, local media and Global User Email for updates.
  • Report damages to Security at 9-1-1 or 734-936-7890.
  • Remain with patients.
  • Be alert for fire hazards.
  • Provide essential patient care.
  • Prepare to evacuate patients if necessary by following the Facility Evacuation Plan.

For more information:

Severe Weather Plan

Emergency Closure Standard Practice Guide