Preparing for Dorian: Monday Noon Update

September 02, 2019
Dorian graphic plain

Hurricane Dorian’s projected patch continues to take it close to the coast of southeastern North Carolina. It's too early to predict whether we'll get a glancing blow with tropical storm force winds or a direct hit from what could be a category 2 storm. We'll be ready for whatever comes our way.  Teams are preparing our facilities and campuses, getting supplies, and reaching out to patients. All staff should be making their personal plans as well as preparing to fulfill their roles in ensuring we are able to care for our patients and community before, during and after the storm. 


To help ensure staff can travel safely, we will begin shelter-in-place before the expected onset of sustained tropical storm force winds. According to current projected models, that could be anytime between early Wednesday or early Thursday. Because of the wide variation, we will wait to decide when to begin shelter-in-place.  Expect a decision to be announced Tuesday morning.  

Openings and Closings

Unless something changes with the intensity or expected duration of the storm, we will not be closing Orthopedic Hospital and Pender Memorial Hospital. When we close ambulatory sites will be determined by when shelter-in-place is implemented.


The timing of when we will open childcare will be announced Tuesday morning. Typically, it is in advance of the start of shelter-in-place. Staff should make other arrangements for childcare as much as possible. The childcare center is not set up to care for infants. Childcare will be centralized at the 17th Street campus.<

Storm Team Personal Prep

If you are working the storm team, prepare to stay for three to five nights. While it may not be that long, storms are unpredictable, and you need to be ready.  Bring linens, a pillow, toiletries and towels. We’ll supply the air mattresses. Also, be sure to bring all your medications, planning for up to a full week or more.

Post-Storm Planning

Staff on the post-storm team need to be prepared to arrive as soon as shelter-in-place is lifted.  Hurricane Florence, with its slow move inland and massive flooding, created circumstances we are not expecting to see this time with Dorian projected to track along the coast before moving quickly out to sea. Still, we learned just how important it is for staff to be ready to return to work once the storm has passed.  If you are on the post-storm team, make plans to be available to immediately relieve the storm team.

Support for Staff

the damage of Hurricane Florence still fresh in everyone’s minds, and with many of our staff still living with the effects of it, we understand the expected arrival of another storm will create anxiety.  Spiritual care is available and rounding to help staff, patients, and families cope with what they are feeling. They’ll be here throughout storm as well. After Hurricane Florence, many of our chaplains trained in critical incident stress management to help support our teams. Call the on-call Chaplain if you would like to arrange a visit.

More Information

Visit for more information on personal storm preparation.