Metrolina Heathcare distributes extra cots for Irma evacuees

Evacuees from Charleston flood local assisted living facilities in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Some of the homes have requested emergency cots.

Travis Cryan with the Metrolina HealthCare Preparedness Coalition is helping coordinate the effort.

"Our job ahead of storms - even on a day to day basis - is to work with all the hospitals, EMS, public health, emergency management, licensed care facilities across 13 counties in the piedmont of North Carolina," said Cryan.

The Coalition is keeping most of the resources at the new regional disaster preparedness warehouse until Hurricane Irma gets closer.

But before the storm, "one of the things we're doing right now is collecting information from some of our licensed care facilities are receiving relocated patients from the coast from some of their sister facilities. They bring them up here because it's potentially a safer location. They bring the residents and the staff," said Cryan.

To accommodate the evacuees from Charleston, the Metrolina HealthCare Preparedness Coalition has distributed 125 cots to five assisted living facilities in Mecklenburg County.

"They come with a different style padding and they have arm rests, iv poles. They're more comfortable for someone who is used to someone who is used to being in a hospital bed or a different style bed. They're better for our geriatric population, skilled nursing, assisted living style patients than a regular canvas red cross cot," said Cryan.

The assisted living facilities declined to comment.

There are still many cots in storage in case they're needed for emergency shelters in our region.