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The 2012 Derecho: Emergency Medical Services and Hospital Response

  • Randy D. Kearns (a1), Mark S. Wigal (a2), Antonio Fernandez (a1), March A. Tucker (a2), Ginger R. Zuidgeest (a3), Michael R. Mills (a2), Bruce A. Cairns (a1) and Charles B. Cairns (a1)...


During the early afternoon of June 29, 2012, a line of destructive thunderstorms producing straight line winds known as a derecho developed near Chicago (Illinois, USA). The storm moved southeast with wind speeds recorded from 100 to 160 kilometers per hour (kph, 60 to 100 miles per hour [mph]). The storm swept across much of West Virginia (USA) later that evening. Power outage was substantial as an estimated 1,300,000 West Virginians (more than half) were without power in the aftermath of the storm and approximately 600,000 citizens were still without power a week later. This was one of the worst storms to strike this area and occurred as residents were enduring a prolonged heat wave. The wind damage left much of the community without electricity and the crippling effect compromised or destroyed critical infrastructure including communications, air conditioning, refrigeration, and water and sewer pumps. This report describes utilization of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and hospital resources in West Virginia in response to the storm. Also reported is a review of the weather phenomena and the findings and discussion of the disaster and implications.

KearnsRD, WigalMS, FernandezA, TuckerMAJr, ZuidgeestGR, MillsMR, CairnsBA, CairnsCB. The 2012 Derecho: Emergency Medical Services and Hospital Response. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014;29(5):1-4.


Corresponding author

Correspondence: Randy D. Kearns, DHA, MSA School of Medicine University of North Carolina 101 Manning Drive, CB 7600 Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599 USA E-mail


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The 2012 Derecho: Emergency Medical Services and Hospital Response

  • Randy D. Kearns (a1), Mark S. Wigal (a2), Antonio Fernandez (a1), March A. Tucker (a2), Ginger R. Zuidgeest (a3), Michael R. Mills (a2), Bruce A. Cairns (a1) and Charles B. Cairns (a1)...


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