Floods and hurricanes are unique because they provide the opportunity for preparation and non emergent response from funeral directors and funeral service establishments.In the event of pending hurricane impact or flooding caused hurricanes, most funeral homes in danger zones have serious protocols and procedures in place to ensure the safety of funeral home staff and the deceased .
Tray Crump, Florida native and funeral service veteran expressed the following when asked about his funeral homes protocols for responding to hurricane warnings. ‘We will reach out to colleagues, firms and sometimes hospitals to help secure safety for human remains in specific areas; sometimes traveling a couple hundred miles to ensure their safety. Of course, we get the authorization from the next of kin. Hurricanes usually bring unity to people during these times”. He also expressed that warnings are taken VERY seriously and every effort is done to protect not only the deceased but his team when responding to warnings and pending dangers of all kinds.
Though every effort can be made to protect the deceased, the funeral home itself in most cases remains in service even if they are forced to vacate their physical buildings. Death does not keep business hours. In order to ensure that families are able to depend on them during times of need and crisis many funeral homes will risk heeding evacuation promptings to be of service to their communities.
One funeral home in particular that has done this is ISC Cremation and Funeral home of Jacksonville Florida. I had the pleasure of speaking with Janine Chenault FDIC. Concerning remaining operational during power outages Janine explained “we have a very powerful generator that will power the entire building if an outage occurs. If we lost power we would try and transport all our bodies to a facility that could hold them until we get the power back on. For making arrangements with families during power outages we would go back to paper death and manually enter vitals and mail or hand deliver to our doctors. If power is returned we can terminate paper documents and return to electronic documentation. In this the instance we will make arrangements with families by phone and email documents for signatures via cellular phones.”
Please join us next time as we discuss blizzards.
Joél Simone Anthony, also known as ‘The Grave Woman,’ is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She is dedicated to eliminating misconceptions about post-life preparation while stimulating an open, honest and straight forward discussion about death. You can submit your comments, questions and requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or by using our contact page.