Sizewise Disaster Plan Tested and Ready to Ride Out Storms This Season

  • 9/1/2011

Sept. 1, 2011 – Kansas City, Mo. based Sizewise, a growing and diversified medical equipment manufacturer, exceeded expectations of hundreds of hospitals and thousands of patients in the wake of recent storms. Sizewise is counted on by healthcare facilities nationwide, Veterans Administrations and homecare patients to deliver critical care-giving equipment on a daily basis.

“With a watchful eye on Tropical Storm Katia this week, Sizewise has been fortunate not only to have pre-rehearsed disaster plans in place, but to have the skills and commitment of field service teams locally that execute those plans at the highest level,” said Jason Pelc, safety and accreditation coordinator at Sizewise. “We’ve become known in the industry for our commitment to service. Particularly in times of disaster, our end goal is to safely and securely deliver needed equipment to all local healthcare facilities and homecare patients.”

Dozens of Sizewise sites along the east coast activated the company’s disaster plans, resulting in zero service interruption to hundreds of healthcare facilities and homecare patients. The Sizewise Homecare Division identified all homecare patients in the potentially impacted areas from Hurricane Irene that use Sizewise home equipment. They were instructed that some equipment may not function without electricity, and they were provided with the ways to contact FEMA as well as state and local emergency management organizations. 

Sizewise manufactures  therapeutic support surfaces, beds, patented shuttle systems, ancillary equipment and more. Many of these transport devices are particularly useful in disaster scenarios when patient movement is critical.

In the wake of Hurricane Irene, Sizewise offered standby equipment in the event that a facility would be operationally restricted. Due to the quick response of these sites, and the coordination and cooperation of all that were potentially involved, the potential loss of service to more than 270 current customers was avoided.

“No matter how good a disaster plan is, many people rely on the public utility system. Sizewise is no different, and two sites were actually subjected to operational limitations, due to power outages,” Pelc said. “The Boston and Rhode Island locations were without power for two days, but backup generators were used at these sites until electricity was restored locally.”

In 2008, with Hurricane Ike bearing down on the Gulf of Mexico, the Sizewise Houston site was able to initiate the Disaster Plan and coordinate with customers to provide standby equipment in anticipation of the storm.  With equipment staged at local customers and quick responses from the local site and corporate personnel, customers experienced extremely limited interruptions and, within 48 hours, the Houston crew was back to full operation with standard services resuming for all customers.

This most recent storm system is not the first time that Sizewise has had to put its Corporate Disaster Plan into effect.  Just last year, with Hurricane Earl, the same scenario played out for the east coast, with customer notifications and Corporate Disaster Plans being activated for most of those sites.  Fortunately, Earl had been downgraded to a Tropical Storm by the time it made landfall, though heavy rains and flooding were experienced in the New England area.