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 SMH in an Emergency

Hurricane season is June 1 through Nov. 30.

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is an acute-care hospital providing health care to patients. Because of this important role, the hospital’s resources are committed to those who need them most. During severe weather, Sarasota Memorial is a designated medical shelter for patients and people with special medical needs who require hospitalization during emergencies. (See below for details.) The hospital is not equipped to act as a community shelter during a disaster. To learn more about local hurricane shelter options, please contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 or click here.     

SMH's Standard Hurricane Response Plan

Sarasota Memorial employees continually monitor and prepare for weather emergencies. The hospital's Hurricane Response Plan provides comprehensive information for an effective and safe response to hurricanes.

Updates regarding hospital services will be shared with the community via, social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), in local news and via other communications channels.

SMHCS employees should call the Employee Hotline, 941-917-8799, for updates relating to hospital operations before, during and after a storm. Once a Hurricane Watch is instituted for Sarasota County, information regarding department and facility closures and other issues will be continuously updated on the hotline. The Employee Hotline is the best source of updated information for employees.

People with Special Needs (PSN) Program

Sarasota County has designated Sarasota Memorial Hospital as a medical shelter for our patients and people with special medical needs during critical emergency situations. The Florida Department of Health has established additional shelter locations for people with special needs who do not require a hospital setting.

If you require special medical attention, please register for assistance prior to a hurricane or tropical storm by calling Sarasota County’s Call Center at 941-861-5000 or click here. If you have pre-registered with the county, they will contact you for transport to the appropriate shelter as designated by the county.

Sarasota Memorial is NOT a community shelter. To ensure adequate facilities, staffing and supplies for emergencies, we must reserve our rooms for patients, as well as people with special medical needs who have registered for assistance and have been assigned to Sarasota Memorial. Family members and others will be directed to an appropriate community shelter as needed.

For PSNs assigned to Sarasota Memorial, the hospital will provide:

  • Sleeping accommodations — Because our limited number of hospital beds must be reserved for critically ill or injured patients or patients evacuated from other hospitals, not all PSNs will be placed in a hospital bed. Some will be provided with cots, stretchers or recliners. PSNs assigned to SMH should be prepared to bring their own bedding.
  • Food (predetermined menu) — Sarasota Memorial is unable to prepare special diets for PSNs. Caregivers and PSNs should be sure to bring food if the PSN has special dietary needs.

Sarasota Memorial is unable to provide PSNs with:

  • Medications — PSNs should make sure to bring a supply of their prescription medications.
  • TV or other entertainment — Not all PSN accommodations will have access to a TV.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we get through another hurricane season.

SMH Employees 

All employees are encouraged to review the hospital Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) that can be found on the internal PULSE site and to discuss with their supervisors what their role and responsibilities would be.

Members of Labor Pool (clinical & non-clinical) should familiarize themselves with the Labor Pool phone number and Labor Pool location.

Members of Hurricane Teams: Response (A) Team, Recovery (B) Team and Pre-Team members should familiarize themselves with their team roles and responsibilities within the Hurricane Response Plan.