Phila. Hospitals preparing for potential disasters in advance of DNC

As the City of Philadelphia prepares for the Democratic National Convention which will bring President Barack Obama, Vice President Biden & countless other public figures, including pop-stars and actresses, who will most likely endorse Hillary Clinton.

→ THE  RUNDOWN

  • Mark Ross, Regional Manager of Emergency Preparedness for the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, said they have been planning for the Democratic National Convention for months
  • “This is a big city, we do big events, we’ve had a few recently here with the papal visit and the unfortunate events around Amtrak 188,” said Ross. “We routinely meet plan, exercise, and coordinate between healthcare and all our other partners in emergency management, law enforcement, fire & EMS”
  • Tom Runkle of Hahnemann University Hospital said they’ve been preparing their staff for different responses, including a variety of “disaster events”
  • “We have an administration team that will be on standby that week and will be on call in the event something occurs,” said Runkle. “If we have large crowds we’re expecting to see a lot of dehydration, heat exhaustion, so we’re stocked up with cases of bottled water that we’ll have available. We have 150 cases of bottled water”
  • Runkle stated that Hahnemann University Hospital did a mass casualty drill approximately three weeks ago
  • Hospitals and security agents are preparing for terrorist attacks and lone gunman, Dr. Roger Band told Stat. “I think it’s obvious that the threat level, especially with higher-profile events like these, is increased quite a bit in the wake of what’s happened recently”

→ BOMB  THREAT

  • Police this week are investigating a threat to bomb the African American Museum in Philadelphia during the DNC
  • The museum, located at Seventh and Arch Street in Center City, received a threatening letter Thursday and reported it to police
  • The museum is scheduled to host an event celebrating its 40th anniversary on the night before the convention begins

→ SECURITY  PRECAUTIONS

  • A grid of streets near the Wells Fargo Center will be either vehicle-free or limited to just authorized vehicles
  • The FAA will require private aircraft passengers to undergo TSA screening at their departure points being being cleared to Philadelphia, this includes commercial airliners
  • Both medium-duty vehicles, from bread trucks to RV’s, and heavy-duty vehicles, from trash trucks to 18 wheelers, will be banned from using nine miles of I-95
  • The approach for airplanes to Philadelphia International Airport will be diverted to avoid the Democratic National Convention
  • Security will resemble the papal visit
  • For the second time in less than a year, Philadelphia is playing host to an event that brings with it the designation of National Security Special Event (NSSE); with the last event being the visit of Pope Francis