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ICT Hurricane Ian Emergency Response

Port Charlotte, FL

ICT is no stranger to hurricane disaster emergency response efforts.  The responses to the destruction caused by hurricane Katrina and hurricane Rita are good examples.  Hurricane Ian was no different.

In the days leading up to hurricane Ian, ICT was poised and ready to respond to any emergency that required engineering assistance. 

Only a few hours after Ian made landfall on the West Coast of Florida, ICT had a team on site in Port Charlotte, FL.  The destination was a hospital that had the roof of its 4 story patient tower partially ripped off by the 150 mph wind of the Category 4 hurricane. 

The onsite emergency generators were the only source supporting the life safety systems for the 40 patients that had not yet been able to be evacuated.  There was no utility power and no cooling when the team arrived.

The team immediately began evaluating the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems to determine the extent of the damage.  All damaged areas and systems that were deemed unsafe were isolated which allowed the general contractors and subcontractors to focus on restoring the damaged areas.  With the help of ICT and the incredible efforts of the contractors, all systems had been restored within a couple days.

The overarching priority was to get as much of the hospital back open as soon as possible in order to meet the immediate healthcare needs of the community.  Specific areas of the hospital were identified to have been less impacted by the hurricane and were the focus of the initial re-opening effort.  An architect was brough on board to play a pivotal role by preparing phasing drawings and masterfully navigating the process with the state health department (AHCA).  ICT assisted in directing the testing of all MEP and life safety systems in preparation for the AHCA surveys that would determine if the hospital was safe to accept patients.   The team was successful in passing all AHCA surveys for the respective service lines that were prioritized for re-opening the hospital (Emergency Department, Imaging, Lab, Surgery, Dietary, Med/Surg, Cath, Endo).  After the critical areas of the hospital were re-opened, ICT led the efforts to assist in re-opening the third and fourth floors, where the majority of the damage occurred.  This work was completed and inspected within two months and the complete facility was back in operation.  

While the restoration efforts were happening in Port Charlotte, ICT deployed teams to another hospital and Freestanding Emergency Department nearby.  These facilities were not as heavily impacted by the hurricane, but still needed to be evaluated to determine the integrity of the systems.  ICT again assisted in directing the testing of all MEP and life safety systems in preparation for state health inspections.  Both facilities were re-opened within just a few days of the visit from Hurricane Ian.