CMS requires that ESRD Networks monitor the status of facility operations and patient access to treatment during emergency events. If the operations of your facility, or ability for patients to receive dialysis, are impacted by emergency events, including fall storms and winter weather, please fill out the Network Disaster Reporting Form and fax it to your Network right away. Find details on this at https://nwrnbulletins.wordpress.com/2016/08/17/notify-network-of-difficulties-in-patient-access-to-care/ .
The first big storms of autumn are approaching Washington state, and the advisories issued by King County and the Northwest Healthcare Response Network not only provide some details on the current storms, but a great deal of helpful information on preparation for winter weather in general. You may want to post or distribute selected portions of this information to your patients. Find the advisories at:
- King County: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/nwrn.org/files/N/weather1016.pdf
- Northwest Healthcare Response Network: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/nwrn.org/files/N/Storm1016.pdf
The current October 13-16, 2016 storm system is expected to impact western Washington fairly seriously. Heavy rain and wind, with gusts up to 55 mph, are expected to pummel Grays Harbor, Mason, Lewis, Thurston, Kitsap, Pierce, King, and Snohomish Counties October 13-14, with power outages and flooding likely in places. Because many trees still have their leaves, they will be more susceptible to wind damage. High winds and high surf are also forecast for the Oregon and Washington coasts. This storm will impact eastern Washington October 14-15, with gusts up to 40 mph expected in Spokane.
The October 15-16 storm is the remnants of a Pacific Hurricane or Super Typhoon, and depending on the track it takes has the potential to produce what the National Weather Service calls a “historical windstorm for nearly all of western Washington that would be long remembered,” similar to the Columbus Day Storm that hit Oregon in 1962, with winds gusting up to 70 mph, heavy rain, flooding, and 35-foot waves on coastal beaches. Other sources say the track could move across the Oregon coast, impacting the area from San Francisco north to Canada.
Weaker storms are expected to continue into the following week, adding rainfall to cumulative flooding.