Friday, January 10, 2014

Easing winter storm woes


The first fierce winter blast of 2014 is behind us, but more than likely there is another one looming. While schools and many businesses close during inclement weather, the hospital remains open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Despite the challenges and frustrations, the MGH Emergency Preparedness team says there are ways employees can weather the winter storms.

“All MGH staff are considered essential personnel. Employees are encouraged to plan ahead with their families and discuss concerns with their managers as early as possible,” says David Reisman, senior administrative director of Emergency Preparedness. “We encourage staff to review their department’s Emergency Operations plan and become aware of their responsibilities during severe weather.”

MGH emergency preparedness personnel and department leadership, along with city and state officials, engage in extensive planning to ensure the hospital continues to operate safely and efficiently during a snowstorm. They also work with other hospital departments – such as Buildings and Grounds, Environmental Services, Nutrition and Food Services, Police and Security, Materials Management, Patient Care Services and Perioperative Services – to ensure everyone will be able to support operations.

“To prepare and remain safe, allow extra traveling time,” says Reisman. “Wear proper clothing and consider what to bring to work if you may not be able to get home. Make a contingency plan with family in the event of a commuting delay; and prepare for power outages by keeping cell phones charged.“

The Emergency Preparedness team encourages staff to register for the new voluntary Employee Alert System (EAS). “This system allows us to rapidly notify staff of an important event by text message, email and/or phone call,” says Reisman. “During a significant weather event, information about parking regulations and sleep accommodations will be provided through the EAS.”

Employees can subscribe to receive the emergency alerts and select devices to be notified by visiting The following resources are also available to help staff stay informed:

  • Daily Broadcast emails or notifications on
  • MGH Severe Weather Line for updates at 866-798-8402
  • MGH’s Twitter handle, @massgeneralnews, or Facebook page,
  • MBTA service delays at and local news reports for road closures or other critical infrastructure information

For more information about Emergency Preparedness at the MGH as well as the MGH Severe Weather Policy, access

Read more articles from the 01/10/14 Hotline issue.


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