Hurricane Sandy: Is imaging prepared for the storm?

Imaging providers are not immune to hurricane-induced havoc. In August with Hurricane Isaac bearing down, RAD-Planning issued an advisory and list of suggestions to help providers minimize potential damage. The recommendations apply to East Coast regions in Hurricane Sandy's path.

For all imaging providers at risk of flood, storm surge or roof leaks, Kansas City, Mo.-based RAD-Planning recommended elevating as many moveable system components as can be safely done. This includes electronics, cabinets, pumps, amplifiers and computer terminals. Even raising them by six inches may be the difference that saves weeks of downtime, according to RAD-Planning.

Power surges that may be caused by blown-down power lines can be very hazardous to sensitive electronic equipment. The company recommended practices contact equipment vendors to find out if any imaging systems components can be safely disconnected from electrical power to prevent electrical damage.

RAD-Planning advised MRI providers to inspect the quench pipe system, including the external component, if it can be done safely. A 25 mile-per-hour wind is strong enough to drive rainwater into a "shark mouth" quench pipe that comes up through the roof and discharges horizontally.

The company encouraged nuclear medicine providers to check on the security and risks to hot labs, generators and any onsite "decay-in-place" storage.

Finally, RAD-Planning recommended providers consider criticality for any equipment, and plan appropriate actions, before the storm hits, to assure the necessary support to get it operational to serve physicians and patients.