How Upstate University Hospital runs during a storm

Many counties have lifted their travel advisories and bans, but in many places, it’s still recommended that drivers not venture out if they don’t have to.

Although Onondaga County wasn’t hit as badly as other counties, in the heart of the storm, some people absolutely had to be at work and had special provisions to make sure they were there.

When you work at a hospital around here there's no option for closing because of weather—so all of them have plans in place for if something like two feet of snow pile up in a day.

Upstate University Hospital wasted no time putting its incident command protocol into place on Tuesday.

“We're concerned about staff getting here, we're concerned about staff safety even going home and coming back the next day,” said Nancy Page, chief nursing officer at Upstate University Hospital.

Complete with the mint on the pillow in one case, the hospital turned into a very basic hotel— cots, toiletries and extra scrubs. Over 100 medical staff total staying overnight at Upstate's downtown and community campuses, with dozens of others staying for overtime.

It's not just the medical staff; the whole team has to pitch in, like physical plant to keep the area clear of snow so ambulances can get in and out of the emergency department without problems.

"Our nutrition staff… we had more than 100 box lunches, 2 dozen pizzas downtown for staff, 75 box lunches, a dozen pizzas at the community campus for staff who were staying to help us provide care or who just had too long of a trip home,” Page said.

There are also patients being discharged and visitors coming too.

"A patient on one of our units that had a wife and an 8-year-old son visiting, obviously they were planning to go home, they really could not travel home so we had them stay in one of our inpatient rooms that did not have a patient in it so the mom and son could stay together,” Page said.

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