When Hurricane Sandy struck in October of 2012, one of its most dire consequences was that it effectively put six New York hospitals out of commission. The facilities could have provided critical disaster relief, however they were shut down forcing 6,500 patients to be evacuated. To help prevent the same tragic scenario from happening again, hospitals from around New York have teamed up with global architecture firm Perkins+Will to organize an in-depth panel called the “Hospital Disaster Resiliency Program.” The discussion on how to increase the resiliency of NYC hospitals will take place tomorrow night at the Center of Architecture.
The meeting be headed by presenter and moderator Robin Guenther, principal of Perkins & Will and co-chair of AIA New York’s Critical Buildings Committee. The other panel members will include senior facilities executives from three of the hospitals most affected by the storm including the NYU Langone Medical Center, Bellevue Medical Center, and Coney Island Hospital. Leaders from the Director of Resilience from the Mayor’s Office, Urban Green Council’s Building Resiliency Task Force, and AIA New York will also attend the event.
The speakers will analyze Sandy’s impact including a look at the immediate response of the hospitals and their post-storm recovery efforts. This discussion will include a close look at how a total of 16 hospitals lost primary power and other critical building systems due to flooding. Despite crippling conditions, 10 of the buildings remained open in compromised conditions, but hospital bed capacity actually dropped by eight percent following the storm’s immediate aftermath.
Looking to the future, the organizations will also jointly present initiatives currently underway to increase the resiliency of New York’s medical institutions. The meeting will convene at the Tafel Hall within the Center for Architecture on 536 LaGuardia Place on Wednesday February 26 from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. Click here for more information on how to attend the event.