Shelters, hospitals ready to help

Local organizations say they are ready to help those who will need shelter and emergency care this weekend.

Kathy Trenum, disaster program specialist at the Winchester Red Cross, said they have set a trailer to respond to emergencies.  They held pre-storm meetings with staff to get everyone prepared.

“We are trying to get prepared for what we hope won’t happen,” she said.

Other organizations in the area have set up shelters for those who may need a warm place to stay this weekend.

Marion Schoctelkorb, executive director of Winchester Area Temporary Thermal Shelter (WATTS), said that a shelter has been set up at the Berryville Ruritan Hall.

She said WATTS is “fully-prepared” for what the storm will bring. A group of churches in the area will be helping the WATTS day manager provide meals and shelter for those who are transported to Berryville.

A bus was scheduled to leave the Winchester shelter Friday night for the Berryville shelter. There is a capacity of 35 people, she said. The bus will head back to Winchester on Sunday, weather permitting.

Jill Sutherly, regional community relations director at the Falls Church Greenfield Senior Living, said that Greenfield Senior Living, an assisted-living facility located throughout region, has extra space in their facilities to help accommodate seniors who may need food, supplies, or a warm place to stay as they “weather out the storm.”

This will be a temporary placement until the storm passes by the end of the weekend. She added that extra staff would be on hand to provide help and care to those who need assistance.

Greenfield Senior Living centers are located in Strasburg, Woodstock and Berryville.

Local hospitals have also been preparing for this weekend’s storm as they check supplies and meet with staff.

Carol Weare, public relations manager with Valley Health, said that the hospital’s mission relies on being prepared for emergencies.

“Valley Health has been tracking the storm’s progress all week and will be ready to do what’s needed to care for patients, deliver oxygen, make emergency transports and more,” she said.

She added that all hospitals have well-rehearsed emergency preparedness plans to guide staff.

Lisa Heishman, vice president of patient care services for Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, said that the hospital has been going through all departments and checking supplies of medications, food, water, linens and generator fuel to ensure they have enough to get through the weekend.

She added that unused rooms in the hospital will be used to accommodate staff who won’t be able to make it back home after work over the weekend. Staff may also work overtime as well if the hospital starts to see more patients.

The hospital also keeps in touch with fire and rescue staff during these situations, she said.

Warren Memorial Hospital mirrors the efforts of Shenandoah Memorial Hospital.

Terri Wright, vice president of nursing at Page Memorial Hospital and Warren Memorial Hospital, said, “We have a plan that we work through to make sure our entrance ways are clear and accessible for patients and visitors.”

She added that plenty of supplies are on hand and staff accommodations have been set up at the hospital and local hotels if road conditions get too bad to travel home.

Power outage may cause discharge delays, which can create an increase in patients, but she said the outages generally don’t last long.

“We are able to manage with current staff,” she added.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com