Brian Huss, RN, hands a medical monitor to Erica Cook, RN, as the members of Atrium Health's MedCenter Air team prepare a helicopter for deployment ahead of Hurricane Florence.

News, Your Health | 3 years ago

Florence: Ready and Responding

Hurricane Florence is forecast to be a catastrophic storm able to produce damaging winds, torrential rain, flooding and tornadoes – in addition to other side effects, including power outages and disruptions to resources we use every day. Atrium Health stands ready to care for you and your family as well as others who may need our help at this time.

Editor's Note: This page will serve as a resource for updates on how Atrium Health is responding to #Florence. Check back for the latest updates and follow our Facebook and Twitter channels for additional information. For medical assistance and resources, please see our list at the bottom of this post. Visit our inclement weather hub for information on care options, updates on possible closings and delays at hospitals and clinics, and the latest news. If you need care for minor illness or injury, consider a virtual visit

Additional coverage from The Daily Dose: 


Thursday, October 11

Volunteers Complete Meal Packing Efforts

Over the course of three days, more than 125 Atrium Health teammates assembled over 7,500 meal kits to send to food banks serving the communities hit the hardest by Florence. Thanks to our volunteers for all of their hard work and efforts!


Thursday, October 4

Packing Meal Kits for Florence Victims

Atrium Health has teamed up with Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina to pack thousands of meal kits to send to families who have been impacted by Florence. Food items include peanut butter and jelly, canned goods, graham crackers, fruit cups, and more. Atrium Health plans to finish the project on Thursday, October 11 by packing an additional 3,500 meal kits for families in need.


Friday, September 28

MED-1 Team Returns Home 

Tuesday, September 25

Breast Milk Donation Saves Two Lives

Monday, September 24

Thank You to Our Friends for Their Unwavering Support


Saturday, September 22

Nurses Return Home from Wilmington

Mother Gives Birth Inside Carolinas MED-1

Thursday, September 20

Access to Care in Pender County

Wednesday, September 19

Mobile Hospital and Pharmacy Stationed in Burgaw, NC

Tuesday, September 18

Updates from MED-1

Since their arrival in Pender County, NC on Monday, MED-1 has seen over 30 patients and has performed 2 surgeries at their 24/7 operation. The team plans to set up a second triage tent to accommodate the number of patients in need of medical assistance. In addition to medical services, Calvin Harvel, a peer support specialist for Behavioral Health-Charlotte, is providing emotional support for those who have been impacted by Florence.

Monday, September 17

Nurses to Help Aid Wilmington Hospital Staff

Carolinas MED-1 Arrives

Committed to Care 

Carolinas MED-1 Team En Route 

Sunday, September 16

Urgent Care Update

Pender County: Carolinas MED-1 is On the Way

Saturday, September 15

Carolinas MED-1 Deploying to the Coast

Atrium Health has been called upon by the state of North Carolina to deploy Carolinas MED-1, a one-of-a-kind mobile hospital unit. MED-1 has been requested in Pender County, North Carolina where there has been wide spread flooding and closure of their local hospital.

Once on location, the team of more than 30, made of emergency room doctors, nurses and other medical staff can be operational within 30 minutes. MED-1 will serve as the only medical facility within a 50 miles radius. The 1,000-square-foot hospital is fully staffed and capable of handling anything from minor injuries to severe emergency medical conditions, including trauma surgery and intensive medical care.

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Setting up Shelter

In coordination with the Metrolina Healthcare Preparedness Coalition, we're quickly standing up a medical shelter in the Charlotte area as Florence rolls in. It will be for patients with minor medical needs, especially those that have lost power for critical medical equipment.

Cancer Patients Surprised with Flowers from Canceled Wedding


Preparations Continue 

Friday, September 14

Shelter Information

Mecklenburg County shelters are accepting patients who have home oxygen and CPAP machines, however they DO NOT have oxygen on site. Patients will need to bring their own concentrators or extra cylinders and need to be able to self-sustain care for 72 hours. All shelters are still open as of Friday night. Some shelters will accommodate pets, and some have showers. All will provide food and some toiletry items. Call 2-1-1 for specific updates regarding availability/closings or other information.

Anyone who plans to stay in one of the Red Cross shelters should bring the following:

    They should also bring with them any special items for children, such as diapers, formula and toys, and durable medical equipment and/or assistive technology if applicable. You may present to any “general population shelter” without an appointment or phone call.

    Hurricane Florence Community Shelters

    Mecklenburg County

    East Mecklenburg High School
    6800 Monroe Road, Charlotte, NC
    P: 980-343-6430

    South Mecklenburg High School
    8900 Park Road, Charlotte, NC
    P: 980-343-3600

    North Mecklenburg High School
    11201 Old Statesville Road, Huntersville, NC
    P: 980-343-3840

    Ardrey Kell High School
    10220 Ardrey Kell Road, Charlotte, NC
    P: 980-343-0860

    West Mecklenburg High School
    7400 Tuckaseegee Road, Charlotte, NC
    P: 980-343-6080

    Alamance County

    The Lamb's Chapel,
    415 Roxboro St., Haw River, NC
    P: 336-570-2014

    Gaston County

    Ashbrook High School, 2222
    S. New Hope Road, Gastonia, NC
    P: 704-866-6600

    Guilford County

    Glenwood Recreation Center
    2010 Coliseum Blvd., Greensboro, NC
    P: 336-373-2929

    McDowell County

    Grace Corpening YMCA
    348 Grace Corpening Drive, Marion, NC
    P: 828-659-9622

    Montgomery County

    Page Elementary School
    897 Page St., Troy, NC
    P: 704-836-9116

    Randolph County

    First Baptist Church
    133 N. Church St., Asheboro, NC
    P: 336-629-9191

    Rockingham County

    Rockingham County Middle School
    182 High School Road, Reidsville, NC
    P: 910-997-9827

    Union County

    Monroe Middle School
    601 E. Sunset Drive, Monroe, NC
    P: 704-296-3120

    The Best ... For All

    Atrium Health has been getting patients from hospitals along the coast – including some with the most critical needs and the tiniest evacuees. These two NICU patients were flown into Charlotte and are being treated at Levine Children's Hospital until the storms settle and they are able to safely return home. Read More

    Spiritual Services Team Prepared

    Maternity Classes and Hospital Tours Canceled at CMC

    Gene Woods Meets With MedCenter Air Team

    Atrium Health President and Chief Executive Officer Gene Woods meets with members of the Mobile Medicine team for a tour of their ambulances and their life-saving equipment, and to thank them for the critical role they play during times of need.

    Gene meets with members of the MedCenter Air team as the prepare for any deployments necessary during Hurricane Florence

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    Tips for Parents

    Thursday, September 13

    MedCenter Air Provides Life-saving Assistance

    Atrium Health's MedCenter Air fixed-wing aircraft fleet has been busy assisting patients in need of assistance ahead of Hurricane Florence. The team has helped evacuate 15 patients as of Thursday evening from New Hanover and Brunswick counties on the coast of North Carolina and in the direct path of the storm.

    Atrium Health's MedCenter Air fixed-wing aircraft division has helped evacuate 15 patients from the Carolinas coast ahead of Hurricane Florence.

    Atrium Health's MedCenter Air fixed-wing aircraft division has helped evacuate 15 patients from the Carolinas coast ahead of Hurricane Florence.

    Visitation Information

    Over the coming days, our area is expecting extremely dangerous weather. Atrium Health is fully prepared to continue operations and continue caring for our patients. During this time, we want family members of our patients to feel secure that their loved ones are safe. We are encouraging family members to allow care teams to focus on patients – and help ensure family members’ own safety – by limiting visits to our facilities and not traveling on potentially dangerous roads.

    Our Tiniest Patients  


    Taking Care of our Teammates

    Mobile Medicine Ready

    FEMA has activated one of Atrium Health's MedCenter Air helicopters. As of 10 a.m Thursday, the team has not been deployed but remain on standby and ready to leave when given orders. 

    Atrium Health's MedCenter Air nurses (from left) Liz Soriano, RN, Brian Huss, RN, and Erica Cook, RN, prepare a helicopter to be deployed ahead of Hurricane Florence.
    Atrium Health's MedCenter Air nurses (from left) Liz Soriano, RN, Brian Huss, RN, and Erica Cook, RN, prepare a helicopter to be deployed ahead of Hurricane Florence.

    Wednesday, September 12

    Working with FEMA

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has requested help from Atrium Health’s Mobile Medicine team ahead of Hurricane Florence. We are on standby to deploy one helicopter from MedCenter Air with a crew of seven (two pilots, one mechanic and four medical staff) for a seven-day mission, with the potential of extending the deployment.  

    In addition, our fixed wing aircraft has assisted in the evacuation of nearly a dozen patients from Brunswick and New Hanover counties to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, and other North Carolina hospitals.

    Welcoming New Pediatric Patients

    Levine Children's Hospital also has welcomed patients from hospitals that were evacuated by Hurricane Florence. 

    Tuesday, September 11

    Stay Safe Through the Storm 

    A panel of Atrium Health medical providers gathered to provide some tips and advice for the public ahead of Hurricane Florence. 

    Hurricanes are some of the worst natural disasters thrown at us by Mother Nature. Fortunately, through improvements in science and technology, we're able to forecast these powerful storms days in advance to give people in their wake enough time to prepare for the impact. 

    Ed Kim, MD, is the chair of the department of solid tumor oncology at Atrium Health's Levine Cancer Institute. He's also a former resident of Houston, Texas, site of many hurricanes in years past. He offered the following advice to folks in preparation of a hurricane hitting our area:

    "These are the things we have to focus on. First, obey evacuation orders if they occur. The worst thing you can do is stay put if an evacuation is ordered. Second, if there’s not an evacuation order and you decide to stay, make sure you're in contact with friends and family so that they know that you’re safe," Dr. Kim says.  

    Basic Preparedness Tips

    • Know where to go. If you’re ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.

    • Put together a “go-bag,” a disaster supply kit that includes a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate.

    • If you’re not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you’re not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.

    • Make a family emergency communication plan.

    • Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications (For example, Mecklenburg County residents can sign up for CharMeck Alerts or download the ReadyNC app on your smartphone to get alerts from wherever you are in the state). To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city or county name with the word alerts. 

    Preparing Your Home

    • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
    • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
    • Consider a portable generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture. And NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.

    What is a Hurricane Watch?

    Hurricane watch = Conditions possible within the next 48 hours. 

    Steps to take:

    • Review your evacuation route(s) and listen to local officials.
    • Review the items in your disaster supply kit, and add items to meet the household needs for children, parents or pets.

    What is a Hurricane Warning?

    Hurricane warning = Conditions are expected within 36 hours. 

    Steps to take:

    • Follow evacuation orders from local officials, if given.
    • Check in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
    • Follow the hurricane timeline preparedness checklist, depending on when the storm is anticipated to hit and the impact that is projected for your location.

    Resources to Get Help

    For serious medical emergencies, Atrium Health’s emergency rooms are open 24/7 and staffed by providers board-certified in emergency medicine. If you are experiencing a life-threatening condition, call 911 right away.

    Additionally, Atrium Health has an emergency department dedicated to children, providing access to specialized pediatric care in a family-friendly environment. If you need to reach the Children’s Emergency Department directly, call 704-446-KIDS (5437). If your child has come into contact with or swallowed a poisonous substance, call the Poison Center at 800-222-1222.

    If you have suffered an unexpected illness or injury, you can schedule an Urgent Care reservation online. See our other virtual care options.

    If you’re evacuating, make sure you have a plan and you let your family and friends know where you’re going. If you are in need of food, water or shelter, please contact your local chapter or find a shelter near you.

    Other Resources: 

    Sources: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Ready.Gov,, NC Emergency Management