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Hurricane Hardening at Sarasota Memorial

In 2005 and 2006, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System devoted millions of dollars to “harden” our facility against hurricane-force winds to improve the likelihood that the region’s only community hospital will remain open and able to take care of patients if a storm strikes the area. The hospital has embarked upon a series of construction and renovation projects designed to strengthen the facility’s roof, reduce vulnerability to wind and flooding and protect medical equipment. 

The upgrades include:

  • replacing parts of the facility’s gravel-top roof with materials that adhere to the  building

  • sealing windows and doors and installing shutters

  • building a wall around medical gas tanks

  • resealing the panels and joints of the building that houses the hospital’s Emergency Room and Intensive Care Units

  • installing flood-detection equipment and new pumps

  • installing extra protection for generators

In 2007 and 2008 Sarasota Memorial completed the installation of hurricane protective screening for the Waldemere Tower and East Tower windows. The individual screens are designed to meet/exceed current FEMA wind requirements for our area. The work was the result of two approved federal grants.

If a storm is headed our way ...

Hospital staff will work closely with Sarasota County and other agencies and health care providers to address the health needs of the community during and after a storm. The hospital may cancel all elective surgeries and discharge as many non-critical patients as possible before a hurricane is expected to make landfall. A core team of staff and physicians will be on duty throughout the duration of the storm.

Sarasota Memorial is a designated medical shelter — a safe destination for people with medical or physical conditions requiring special assistance. People with special needs must register ahead of time, please contact Sarasota County at (941) 861-5000 for more information.

Hurricane aftermath

Even if the region lacks electrical power or other utilities, Sarasota Memorial should be able to continue to provide medical services with the help of generators and reserves of water and supplies.

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