LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel has been certified as a Storm Ready Supporter by the National Weather Service in Jackson.
South Central becomes the ninth hospital in the state to achieve the designation. The Storm Ready Supporter program was established in the 90's and is designed to help increase preparedness for weather related natural disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes.
To achieve the certification certain criteria must be met. There should be multiple ways to receive information, specifically like tornado warnings, multiple ways to communicate the warnings with-in the facility to people who are focusing on other things and regularly scheduled drills must be conducted.
"You want to have plans in place in case something happens," said Stephen Wilkinson, NWS, Warning Coordinator. "What's unique to hospitals is you have to know if it is really close patients may have to be moved that are in a bad situation."
South Central joins Forrest General and Wesley as the two other hospitals with the certification in the Pine Belt. Other Storm Ready Supporters in the Pine Belt are the Lamar, Forrest, and Petal School Districts.