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Lake Charles Memorial Hospital makes hurricane infrastructure upgrades



LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) – Lake Charles Memorial Health System continues to prepare for the 2024 hurricane season, and they have recently made some upgrades to improve their systems at various campuses.

Director of facilities Thomas Chapman said, “At the women’s campus or south campus, we did a $5 million overhaul of the plant to strengthen it. And at the Archer Institute, we did a $7 million program to stiffen the roof and to prepare it for a category 4 or 5 storm.”

The main campus hospital has replaced all their windows; they’re now at Miami-Dade code standard, meaning that the windows are impact-resistant or protected if wind speed are 200 mph or greater.

“We’re going to do everything we can to keep our hospital open and available to the public. We’ve made huge infrastructure changes, we’ve bought windows, we improved our electrical systems. Just putting the icing on the cake, so we’re above where we need to be,” said Scott Kyle, the director of emergency management.

Hurricane season is fast approaching, and it’s expected to be a busy one.

Kyle said to make sure you have a plan in place, especially if things are as bad as they’re projected to be.

“If evacuation orders do come out from the parish or from the sheriff, they heed those warnings; they’re there for a reason. Have a plan, have a plan for work, have a plan for your house if you have chronic medical conditions. You need to consider additional medications or bringing your bottle with you,” said Kyle.

Lake Charles Memorial representatives said these measures are important in order to stay ahead of the game; natural disasters are unpredictable, so remember that it’s better to be safe than to be sorry.

The hospital structure is already safe, according to staff, but these upgrades are going to better ensure nothing can happen to those who might get stuck in a hospital during a hurricane.

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