September 29, 2022

Many hospitals are at risk of flooding from hurricanes, study finds

By: Lauren McCaffrey
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Editor's Note

Hundreds of hospitals are at risk of flooding from Hurricane Ian according to a Harvard study, Becker's Hospital Review September 29 reports. As the Category 2 hurricane makes its way through Florida, at least 50 percent of hospitals in 25 metropolitan areas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk of flooding.

The study, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, was published September 29, one day after Hurricane Ian made landfall along the southwestern coast of Florida. 147 hospitals with 41,493 beds may be at risk of inundation from a Category 1 storm; 306 hospitals with 84,842 beds may be at risk of flooding with a Category 4 storm.

Below are 10 metro areas where a Category 2 hurricane threatens access to hospital care most, including the number and proportion of hospitals at risk in each area.

  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach — FL (38, or 77.6% of hospitals)
  • New York-Newark-Jersey City — NY, NJ, PA (25, or 19.5% of hospitals)
  • Boston-Cambridge-Newton — Mass., NH (6, or 15% of hospitals)
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford — FL (1, or 33.3% of hospitals)
  • New Orleans-Metairie — LA (15, or 78.9% of hospitals)
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater — FL (8, or 28.6% of hospitals)
  • North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton — FL (6, or 85.7% of hospitals)
  • Jacksonville — FL (6, or 42.9% of hospitals)
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers — FL (4, or 80% of hospitals)
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington — PA, NJ, DE, MD (5, or 10% of hospitals)

To increase preparedness for a natural disaster, visit OR Manager's Disaster Preparedness Series.

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