Jerusalem hospitals batten down hatches for snow

Hadassah and Shaare Tzedek reinforce staff and equipment to stay open as snow looms, with emergency generators on hand.

Ari Yashar ,

Shaare Tzedek Hospital (illustration)
Shaare Tzedek Hospital (illustration)
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

As a massive storm batters down on Israel, hospitals in Jerusalem are preparing for the predicted imminent snow that is to follow a blustery Sunday which has already brought heavy winds, rain and hail to the city.

The Hadassah Hospitals and Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem issued a notice on Sunday afternoon detailing their preparations for the intense weather, which is said to be caused by chilling winds coming in from Russia.

Hadassah Hospitals in Ein Kerem and Mount Scopus are preparing for a heavy buildup of snow, and plan to remain open as usual.

The municipality and police are cooperating to keep roads to the hospitals open, using snow plows and scattering salt on the roads.

Staff in critical fields are being reinforced so that if the snow should pile up, there will be enough medical staff on call to treat the patients, and likewise the hospital has taken pains to ensure there is enough equipment on hand, including fuel for electricity generators.

Shaare Tzedek is also gearing up for the snow that could last until Tuesday, and likewise plans to remain open as usual, with its birthing, emergency and trauma units staying open no matter what weather visits upon the city.

An emergency headquarters will be opened at the hospital starting on Tuesday at 2 p.m., and those seeking emergency information can contact the headquarters at 02-6555072, 02-6555773 or 02-6555423.

Non-essential outpatient care services may be discontinued in the event of heavy snow, with patients advised to contact the hospital and check before arriving.

Staff are to be rotated continuously through the storm, with some planning to stay at the hospital; extra medical equipment is being readied in advance, and generators are being prepared in case they are needed.