Florence is Still Here. We're Preparing for What's Next

September 15, 2018
Florence graphic update

Tropical Storm Florence is creeping through our area at a painfully slow pace of 2 mph. The weather is getting a little better with intermittent rain bands. We can expect the rain and winds of 20-30 mph to continue through the day and night.  We are under tornado watch until 11 pm. Staff should review their tornado plans.

Meanwhile, we're continuing to plan for resuming normal operations, though it will be days before we can get the system fully operational. When the storm passes, we can expect to see an influx of patients coming to our emergency department as people who have been without medical attention for days and those who begin the work of clean up have medical needs. For that reason, we are going to continue to focus our resources at the NHRMC campus.

While a decision on lifting shelter in place will depend on weather and road conditions, post-storm team staff should be talking with their managers about when they be able to arrive to relieve the storm team. We appreciate everyone's effort to be ready to return to work as soon as possible.  

John Recognizes "Unsung Heroes"

During this afternoon's Command Center briefing, President & CEO John Gizdic took a moment to recognize those who work behind the scenes. Here's what he had to say:

“I want to recognize some of the unsung heroes of this event - the people who help our clinical teams stay focused on patients. First, our emergency management team, including Paul, Catrina, Hillary, and Hans, who have been here all day and night working to coordinate resources across the city, county, and state. Also special police staff who deal with all sorts of situations you cannot imagine. They’re doing a great job ensuring everyone’s safety. Our EVS staff has done an amazing job – from pre-storm blowing up mattresses, turning over rooms, to taking care of tons of trash we’re generating - they’re doing a phenomenal job. Our facilities team is absolutely amazing – dealing with leaks, planning ahead with pumps to keep our facility safe and secure and dealing with issues as they have come up throughout the storm. Our folks in dietary – absolutely wonderful – can’t tell you how much I hear about how good the food is and how well we feed folks. The thousands of meals they put out while still feeding patients is incredible. Our childcare staff – we have 120 children in childcare, four times our normal number. Those staff, around the clock, are caring for our children so we can care for our community. They’re keeping them safe, occupied and fed. That is something that does not occur in most organizations. I want to thank them, and every other staff member, for their service and dedication." 

Facilities Updates

Facilities teams are working hard to control water leaks and clean up water where it is coming through.  If water is leaking in your area, do not use linens to clean it up. Use trash bags or something to catch the water and call the command center 667-4860 to report it. 

Stay away from concourse areas and be careful around water on the floor, rugs and stairs.

We are evaluating other locations. Earlier today, things were looking good at the Orthopedic Hospital and ED North.

Phone Issues & PerfectServ

A phone system outage is preventing inbound calls to New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s normal phone numbers. NHRMC has activated a special temporary phone line at (910) 343-3187 that can be used by patients and family members of patients. This number will remain active until the normal phone system is restored. Physicians getting PerfectServ messages are going through the switchboard to get routed. Those calling physicians should give their name and unit to make it easier to connect.

Payroll Action Required for All Employees Who Clock In

All employees who use time clocks need to clock out briefly to help override a system in Kronos that won’t allow for an extended period of time clocked in.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Between Friday am 0700 and Sunday 0900, clock out at any timeclock.
  • Wait 1 (one) minute and then clock back in. If you do not do this your time card will read as an error and will have to be manually corrected.

Please help us ensure that your time is accurately reflected.

Chapel Service in the Auditorium

There will be a service in the chapels at 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.


If trash in your area begins to overflow, please call environmental services as you normally would.

Shelter In Place

We are still sheltering in place: all entrances are closed except the emergency department and Women's and Children's for arriving OB patients. Staff should not leave the facility and visitors should no longer be entering.


Free meals are being provided in the NHRMC Cafeteria for employees, physicians and visitors with badges. Breakfast is from 6:15 until 9 a.m. Lunch will be served from 11 - 2 p.m.  Dinner is 4:30 - 8pm and a third-shift mean is offered from 11 p.m. until 1 a.m. 

Sleeping & Showering

Please check in with your manager for your designated sleeping and showering areas. You must use your designated area. Please be respectful of those who are trying to rest.


All visitors who are staying in the main tower during the storm must have a visitor badge. Officers are working with managers to identify visitors and help them get badges. Visitors should use their badge as long as possible through the storm. They do not need to get a new one each day.

Next update

The next full update will be posted around 10 a.m. Sunday. Please continue to check with CapsLive, email and the employee hotline (815-5411) for continuous updates.