Hurricanes are devastating to communities around the country. In the healthcare industry, the devastation comes at a time when the facilities are needed most. That’s why hospitals and other healthcare institutions ensure they are prepared for natural disasters – to minimize damages, take care of current patients, and accept the most patients possible affected by a hurricane.
Living in Houston, we see the increase in the need for care along with negative impacts to our ability to treat. The 2017 hurricane season comprised of 17 named storms and 10 hurricanes – six of which were major hurricanes – ranked as the fifth-most active season since the beginning of recordkeeping in 1851. Included in that deadly 2017 hurricane season was Hurricane Harvey, which closed at least 20 of Houston’s hospitals.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25, 2017 and pounded the region between Rockport, Texas and Cameron, Louisiana for more than a week with more than 60 inches of rain and indescribable wind. As the first Category 4 Hurricane to hit the U.S. in 13 years, it killed 90 people and caused $200 billion in damages.
According to Healthcare Finance, one of the most successful hurricane-specific disaster responses was seen at MD Anderson during Hurricane Harvey. Notably, the famed Houston cancer facility had heavy duty flood gates installed years prior after being badly battered by another hurricane. Emergency leaders built a comprehensive disaster response plan and team that did drills regularly and held regular discussions to refine operations and training.
At least one expert noted the following shared characteristics resilient healthcare systems possess:
- Awareness of potential health threats and their hospital system’s strengths and limitations
- Ability to draw on redundant capacity
- Established relationships and agreements with public health and community partners
- Strong and flexible leadership and organizational structures
Lawyers For Hospitals With Insurance Coverage Claims
The primary goals of Houston medical facilities before, during, and after a hurricane include staying open and effective so those in need can be treated. Our healthcare providers should not worry about insurance coverage for property damage suffered in the event of a natural disaster like a hurricane. That’s what we are here for: Raizner Law, business insurance lawyers representing businesses against insurance companies.