It’s amazing what a difference 16 years can make. For some large hospitals in Houston that experienced massive flooding and loss of medical equipment and research materials in Tropical Storm Allison, the outcome of late-August’s bout with a storm of epic proportions was a testament to smart planning. 

The mostly positive outcome for hospitals at the Texas Medical Center, which were badly damaged by Allison but left largely unscathed by Hurricane Harvey, was not happenstance. The resiliency that kept the facilities nearly bone dry while the streets outside the hospitals turned to rivers was the result of hardened infrastructure borne out of judicious preparation and investment — and lessons learned.  

“When you consider the magnitude of this storm, hospitals prepared really well not only in terms of the management of their staff and how they moved patients when necessary, but with the investment made by facilities themselves and their emergency preparation over the years,” says Lance Lunsford, senior vice president for marketing and business development, Texas Hospital Association.

Read more coverage of this issue from Health Facilities Management.