Local nursing homes and hospitals prepare for Hurricane Florence

NORFOLK, Va. - Staff at Consulate Healthcare of Norfolk could be seen loading their residents into the back of ambulances Wednesday morning.

They are doing a mandatory evacuation of more than 200 patients.

“We are currently in the process of safely evacuating the patients and residents from that building to six of our nearby care centers,” said Jennifer L. Trapp, the Vice President of Corporate Communications with Consulate Health Care.

Staff tell us they’re moving residents to those facilities to ride out Hurricane Florence. They told us even if the building doesn’t flood, the area around it is known to do so.

“This is something that we have to do. We are in flood Zone A," Trapp said.

News 3 reached out to other nursing homes as well.  Some tell us they are moving patients out. Others said with Florence’s shift, they’re sheltering in place.

“We’re just continuing operations as normal,” Sentara Healthcare Senior Communications Advisor Dale Gauding said.

Gauding told us they have scaled back from their initial emergency management plan.

“Which would have involved having some of our clinical teams stay the night. We would have discharged as many patients as we could appropriately so they could go to a safer place," Gauding explained.

However, patients at their Currituck County nursing home have been evacuated to Portsmouth and Virginia Beach.

Other hospitals like Bon Secours tell us all of their facilities are still in storm mode with extra staff in place and supplies. For most, they’re just on standby to see what Florence brings our way.

“We are making decision as we go,” Gauding explained.

If you have a loved one in a hospital or nursing home, reach out to find out exactly what they are doing to make sure your family is safe.