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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 registered Sarasota County residents who have qualifying medical needs that 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 smh.com, 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.

Medically Dependent Residents  

Sarasota County has designated Sarasota Memorial Hospital as a medical shelter during critical emergency situations for SMH patients and for registered residents with qualifying medical needs. The Florida Department of Health has established other shelter locations for people with medical needs that do not require a hospital setting.

If you will require special medical assistance during severe weather threats, please pre-register for assistance with Sarasota County prior to a hurricane or tropical storm: Call 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 and county residents with qualifying 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 those with qualifying medical needs who have been 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 who are assigned to SMH as a medical shelter will be placed in a hospital bed. Some will be provided with cots, stretchers or recliners. Those assigned SMH as a shelter should bring their own bedding.
  • Food (predetermined menu) — Sarasota Memorial is unable to prepare special diets for those assigned to SMH for sheltering. Assigned shelterees and their caregivers should bring food if they have special dietary needs.

Sarasota Memorial is unable to provide sheltered medically dependent residents with:

  • Medications — Bring a supply of your own prescription medications.
  • TV or other entertainment 

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.