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Mid-South Hospitals Prepare for Tornadoes

Hurricane Isaac will bring rain to the Mid-South later this week, but forecasters say tornadoes are also a possibility.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Hurricane Isaac will bring rain to the Mid-South later this week, but forecasters say tornadoes are also a possibility.

Tornadoes can happen any time throughout the year in the Mid-South. It’s crucial for residents to have a preparedness plan in place in the event of a natural disaster.

The Shelby County Health Department established the Disaster Council in 2003. Today, local agencies worked to create a response plan in case a tornado hits the Mid-South.

Hospitals were the primary focus, given that they are the lifeline for storm victims after a disaster. Representatives from 19 hospitals across 6 counties in the Mid-South conducted tornado scenarios and created a preparedness plan on how to handle mass fatalities and triage outside of the hospital.

Many hospitals are not tornado-proof. Just like any other structure, hospitals can be damaged or completely destroyed by a tornado. Hospital representatives from Shelby, Tipton, Lauderdale, and Fayette counties, along with Crittenden County, AR and Desoto County, MS will assist each other in the event of a natural disaster. If hospitals in one county are damaged, surrounding counties will take over to assist storm victims.

Kasia Smith-Alexander, Shelby County Emergency Response Coordinator, says, "You can never been too prepared."

Memphis Light Gas and Water has extra crews standing by to respond to weather-related outages later this week.

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