Hurricane Risks to MRI and Imaging

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RAD-Planning has issued an advisory for imaging centers in the path of Isaac in the Gulf Region, which forecasts predict will soon become a hurricane.

For imaging providers at risk of flood, storm surge, and/or roof leaks, RAD-Planning recommends elevating as many moveable system components as safely as possible. This includes electronics cabinets, pumps, amplifiers, and computer terminals. Raising them by 6-inches can be the difference that saves you weeks of downtime.

Be aware that power surges caused by blown-down power lines can be very hazardous to sensitive electronic equipment. Get in contact with your equipment vendor and find out if any parts of your imaging systems can be safely disconnected from power to prevent electrical damage.

For MRI providers, RAD-Planning recommends inspecting your quench pipe system, including the external component, if it can be done safely. If you have a 'shark mouth' quench pipe that comes up through the roof and discharges horizontally, it will take only a 25 mile-per-hour wind to drive rain at an angle where it could enter your quench pipe. Should water accumulate in your quench pipe, a quench could be catastrophic. This was proven (several times) with quenches from hurricane Katrina.

Specific emergency preparedness recommendations for MRI providers are available in the 2007 ACR Guidance Document, which you can download here (see Appendix 4, beginning on page 26 of the PDF).

For nuclear medicine providers, check on the security and risks to your hot labs, generators, and any 'decay-in-place' storage at your facility.