AccuWeather providing free weather forecasting and warning services to hospitals and COVID-19 test centers
Wes Thrift, with Roper St. Francis Healthcare is reflected in a car window wearing a protective mask as he talks to a possible coronavirus patient at the hospital's North Charleston office Monday, March 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
In order to reduce the risk to vulnerable structures, AccuWeather, Inc., is donating its severe weather and local storm-warning services to hospitals, medical institutions and public health agencies that are working against the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced in a press release over the weekend.
The company said it will provide these medical sites with a specialized version of AccuWeather’s SkyGuard warning service, which includes advanced warnings for lightning, wind gusts, flash floods and tornadoes that may impact temporary hospital structures. In doing so, the company has joined other major corporations in helping the worldwide effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The specialized warning service is first being introduced to medical institutions in the states that have been hardest hit, such as California, Washington, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
As health officials in the worst-hit states have scrambled to increase the amount of testing that's available, several governments have set up drive-through testing sites. Drive-through sites have gone up recently in the New York City area, which has become the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, and because of their outdoor nature, these sites are particularly susceptible to the changing weather conditions.
Hospital and medical facilities can register for this donated service by visiting hospital.accuweather.com.
With the severe weather season ramping up and approaching its peak, it is essential that hospital and medical workers are aware of potential severe weather in order to help the fight against COVID-19.
Tornado season starts in mid-March and lasts until June, but areas outside Tornado Alley are also having threats of severe weather year-round.
“It is vital we do all we can to protect patients and the healthcare workers who are on the front lines of this war against the coronavirus, battling it to save lives and prevent further spread,” said AccuWeather for Business Vice President and Meteorologist Jonathan Porter.
The SkyGuard warning service is already in use by thousands of companies worldwide and has proven to be helpful with planning for severe weather due to the services pinpoint accuracy to precise locations.
AccuWeather hopes that by providing this paid service as a complimentary benefit to medical workers who are fighting against COVID-19, it will help improve safety, reduce risk and minimize the loss of life when there is a severe weather threat.
Other companies around the world have also taken steps to help minimize the stress from the outbreak, such as a brewery in Florida, which began bottling hand sanitizer and is distributing it to nonprofits and government agencies around the state. Tito's Vodka, Anheuser-Busch and many other distilleries are also starting production of hand sanitizer.
Other types of companies, such as French perfume company, LVMH, have also started production of hand sanitizer for hospitals.
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