Emergency situations may happen at any moment, often times with little to no notice. Mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery are the guiding principles of Emergency Management which assure our community’s resilience in times of crisis situations. 

Holy Cross Health’s Partnership with Broward County Healthcare Coalition 

Holy Cross Health understands the importance of Emergency Management and how it supports our capabilities in providing the community with the safest environment of care.  The Broward County Healthcare Coalition (BCHC) is a collaborative network of organizations throughout Broward County that serve as a multi-agency coordinating group to enhance healthcare system Emergency Management activities. Agencies represented in the BCHC include but are not limited to:

  • Area Hospitals and Healthcare Providers

  • EMS providers

  • Emergency Management and Public Safety representatives

  • Long-term Care Partners

  • Mental Health, Behavioral Health, and Substance Abuse Providers

  • Specialty Service Providers such as stand-alone Surgery Centers, Urgent Cares, and Home Health Care agencies

  • Community Health Centers

  • Public Health

  • Tribal Healthcare

  • Federal Entities (National Disaster Management Systems, VA Hospitals, Department of Defense Facilities)

BCHC serves to assist local healthcare partners evaluate risks our community may face and identify available local resources during our response to an event. BCHC membership is crucial for ensuring the coordination of preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities in Broward County.  Holy Cross Health is a proud member of the BCHC. Our affiliation with BCHC has allowed us to partner with community agencies via participation in disaster and preparedness drills, monthly collaborative meetings, risk assessments, and hazard vulnerability analyses which ultimate assists us in our preparations to navigate any Emergency situations that may arise. 

Holy Cross Health’s Commitment to Hurricane Preparedness

One of the biggest threats we face in Broward County are Hurricanes. The 2024 Hurricane Season begins on June 1, 2024, and runs through November 30, 2024.  Holy Cross Health begins preparing for Hurricane Season several months in advance via attending various learning seminars and participating in meetings with Broward County Emergency Management.  The National Hurricane Center is a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is an agency that seeks to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, ocean, and coasts in order to share that knowledge and information with others with goals to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.  The NOAA has predicted an above normal 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season with:

  • 17 – 25 named storms

  • 8 – 13 Hurricanes

  • 4 – 7 Major Hurricanes (category 3 or higher)

While June begins the Hurricane season, NOAA studies have shown the month of September to historically produce the largest number of Hurricanes and Tropical Storms in the Atlantic Basin.  A forecast is never considered perfect and the smallest change in the track of a storm makes a big difference on both the area impacted and level of impact; therefore, when Tropical Storm and Hurricane watches and warnings are issued, they are done based on the forecast of risk to an area and not on a forecast of a guaranteed direct impact. 

Hurricane Ian devastated the West Coast of Florida when it made landfall in the Town of Fort Myers Beach on September 28, 2022.  It was the deadliest hurricane to strike the state of Florida since the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, with 161 fatalities, and the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Hurricane Michael in 2018.  Many longtime residents of Fort Myers who experienced Hurricane Charley in 2004 chose to not evacuate the area on the basis of the predicted categories of the two hurricanes being the same (Category 4 at landfall).  So why was Hurricane Ian so deadly in comparison to Hurricane Charley? Hurricane Ian had a larger eye, a larger extreme wind diameter, and moved much slower with a storm surge doubling that of Hurricane Charley

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season 2024

Community members may assure their safety this Hurricane Season by taking advantage of the many resources available.   The Florida Division of Emergency Management encourages Floridians to take advantage of two disaster sales tax holiday, the first beginning June 1, 2024, through June 14, 2024, and the second beginning August 24, 2024, through September 6, 2024.  Eligible items may be found here, as well as a recommended Disaster Supply Kit Checklist:



It also important to understand evacuation zones and shelter options.  Evacuation zones and a listing of Broward County’s General Population and Pet-Friendly Shelters may be found here:



Broward County’s Division of Emergency Management offers a Special Needs Shelter and Evacuation Transportation Assistance Program for those who qualify.  To learn more regarding this program, review the link below or call (954) 831-3902:


Community Well-Being and Hurricane Preparedness 

Holy Cross Health holds our Core Value of Safety in the highest regard. Through community partnerships, ongoing preparation, and information sharing in an ever-changing environment, we remain committed to being the community’s most trusted Health Partner for Life.

Erica L. Sweitzer, BSHCA

Manager Joint Commission Compliance, Emergency Management Oversight/Safety Officer