As Hurricane Ike bears down on Galveston and Houston, two Texas hospitals are bracing for the storm.
"We are safe, and operating under our own power," Gale Smith, a spokeswoman for The Methodist Hospital System in Houston, told FOXNews.com Saturday morning.
There were some minor leaks around the building, she added, and a few windows popped open, "but, overall, things look good here at Methodist."
The hospital has about 700 patients in residence.
Methodist Hospital has also set up a pet shelter and daycare facility for the use of essential personnel.
“We’re at emergency status, only essential personnel remain at the hospital,” Marsha Canright, director of public relations at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, told FOXNews.com Thursday. “The neonatal babies are going to San Antonio by air. We stopped taking new patients on Monday. We just have very ill people at the hospital.”
The hospital, which had about 600 patients at the beginning of the week, is down to about 450.
Canright said the hospital also housed 95 inmates from Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and they were evacuated to a facility in Tyler, which is north of Galveston.
Since the hospital has switched from paper files to electronic files, it is much easier to transfer a patient’s medical records during the hurricane evacuation, Canright said.
Both hospitals plan to keep their emergency rooms open. There will be some Galveston residents who won’t evacuate, Canright said, and the trauma center will be ready and able to accommodate anyone who has been injured by the hurricane.
“When Rita hit two years ago, we still had fires, and people were burned, or cut by flying glass, and they needed to be treated,” Canright said. “We expect those things to occur.”
After Tropical Storm Allison hit in 2001, Smith said The Methodist Hospital installed a high-tech flood protection system.
“We installed flood doors around the perimeter of the hospital campus. And in preparation of Ike, some of these doors are already closed, and we will close additional ones as we see the need.”
Both hospitals have a number of generators on upper-level floors, which are well above the "strike range," and Houston’s Methodist Hospital installed submarine doors in a tunnel system underneath the hospital.
“Our generators could run for days,” Smith said. “We are already very well-equipped. If more patients come in, we will not turn them away.”
If you live in the path of Hurricane Ike, and plan on evacuating from your home, remember to take these three things with you:
1. Any medicine you might need. If you have time to get refills, do so, but if not, carry an empty prescription bottle to help a doctor know what kind of medicine to give you.
2. ANY medical records you have. “Sometimes this is just as important as anything else,” said Dr. Manny Alvarez, managing editor of FOXNews.com.
3. Lots of bottled water. “[Water] is the first thing to become contaminated,” Alvarez said, “and it’s very hot and humid. You will need it.”