Forrest General enters controlled access mode

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - In preparation for Tropical Storm Isaac, as of 1:30 Monday afternoon, Forrest General Hospital is in controlled access.

This means that all of the hospital's entrances are closed except for the ER entrance, and that entrance is only for patients, visitors, staff and physicians.

Forrest General's Chief Marketing and Medical Staff Services Officer, Millie Swan says at about 12 hours before Isaac's impact the hospital will be on lock down, which means all entrances and exists will be locked with no access. The only exception is emergencies. Swan says it is important the public knows the hospital is there for the patients.

"It is very important for people to understand that we are not a shelter we are here to take care of those that need our services here in the hospital, so we are here for the patients to make sure that they are cared for during this time. If anyone has a special need then you have to call the Emergency Management District, and they will put into place a special needs shelter," said Swan.

For special needs shelters and information call the Emergency Management District at 601-544-5911.

Swan also wanted to inform the public that the nearest shelter to the hospital is at the Multi-Purpose Center. It will open at 5 p.m. Monday. Also, Swan says it is important to note that ambulances will not run in winds 40 miles per hour and above.