Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Hurricane Ike Daily Update: Friday, September 12, 2008, 10 a.m.

September 12, 2008

  1. In response to the approach of Hurricane Ike toward the Texas Gulf Coast, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) continues to make final preparations for extreme weather. Health care and support staff is on-site to care for the needs of inpatients at the MEDVAMC.
  2. The outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Houston and Texas City are closed today. The Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic, located at 1301 Frank Avenue in Lufkin, remains open at this time.
  3. The MEDVAMC should not be considered as an evacuation shelter option; it is not authorized to function as a shelter.
  4. It is mandatory for all MEDVAMC employees to wear their VA identification badges and family members to wear their identification badges at all times. Individuals not wearing identification and unattended children will be detained by the VA Police.
  5. A Child Care Center is located in Room 5A-170 to care for the minor children of on-duty MEDVAMC employees only. You must bring all necessary supplies including disposable diapers, formula, bottles, baby wipes, toys, and food for your children. Off-duty employees and family members are required to care for their own children.
  6. A Pet Care Center is located in the basement. Pets are not allowed in individual offices or on nursing units. There are no exceptions. Pet owners should be aware this order will be strictly enforced by the VA Police. You must bring all necessary supplies including food, water dishes, medications, collars, leashes, toys, and clean-up supplies for your pet. You are ultimately responsible for feeding, watering, walking, cleaning up after, and the well-being of your pet.
  7. The VA Canteen is open, but operating with limited hours and staff.  On-duty employees have priority for food service. Family members should not rely on the VA Canteen for meals. The use of grills, hot plates, and other heating appliances are not authorized.
  8. Alcoholic beverages, firearms, weapons, pornography, and illegal drugs are prohibited by federal law on VA property.
  9. Because of water conservation measures, showers will be extremely limited. Employees have priority for available showers and will receive guidance on location and times from their supervisor and/or floor monitors.  Showers in patient rooms are off limits.
  10. While the MEDVAMC does have emergency power generators for electrical disruptions, all critical equipment, and only critical equipment, should be plugged into red outlets. Nursing Units should ensure working flashlights are on hand. If you have any questions, please contact FMSL at ext. 8288.
  11. If a power outage occurs, elevator use will be limited to patient care activities only.  Employees and family members must use the stairs.
  12. Until an All-Clear has been announced by the MEDVAMC director, you are not authorized to leave the MEDVAMC. If you leave the building before this time, you are subject to adverse personnel action. In addition, you and your family member(s) will not be allowed to return until the MEDVAMC returns to normal operations.
  13. During the next few days, the MEDVAMC will keep you updated on personnel, patient, weather, and facility issues as information becomes available. Information is also available by calling the MEDVAMC Automated Information Line at (713) 794-8989 or 1-800-553-2278, ext. 8989 or visiting the MEDVAMC Web site, www.houston.va.gov.
  14. Evacuated veterans with urgent care needs requiring continuing care may contact any VA facility by dialing 1-800-507-4571.  This phone number may also be used by families and friends requiring information about patients from those VA facilities affected by natural and man-made disasters.  Veterans may call with questions such as where to access health care, how to receive their prescription drugs, or any other concerns they may have about their care.
  15. Evacuated VA employees are required to check in with their status, location, and contact information by calling 1-866-233-0152.  Operators are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.  You may call as soon as you have made evacuation plans and have contact information available or within 48 hours of the hurricane.

Emergency Operations Center, 4th Floor Cancer Center Conference Room

Incident Commander 713.794.7262
Planning 713.794.7298/7428
Operations 713.794.7371
Public Affairs 713.794.7490
Patient Information 713.794.8736
Social Work 713.794.8553
Safety 713.794.7483
Police 713.794.8406
Finance 713.794.7598
Logistics 713.794.8554