The Crimson White, May 2, 2011

"Most of it happened all at once," recalls Brad Fisher, Communication Director for DCH Health System, of the tornado that came within mere yards of hitting the main building of Tuscaloosa's largest hospital. "There's a whole playbook that we go through in order to prepare for disasters like this," he said. Although the hospital is prepared to respond to the aftermath of a tornado or other disaster hitting the area, it rarely has to prepare to take a direct hit from it. "You have to put in place a plan to handle operations if certain parts of your property are compromised, which ours were," he said. Just a short time before the deadly, category EF-5 tornado plowed through Tuscaloosa, leaving behind little more than debris, Fischer and other hospital administrators sat in the hospital's central command center, watching the weather and constructing a plan in case the tornado should become a threat to the hospital.

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