06 November 2012

The evacuation of NYU Langone hospital

An NYU medical student recounts the emergency evacuation of his academic teaching hospital after Hurricane Sandy. I can hardly imagine how frightening that experience would be.

I respectfully disagree with one assertion in his account:
Last Monday night, these buildings flooded, and PSE&G shut off electricity to all buildings below 40th Street. And then, as you've probably heard, the unthinkable occurred: the hospital's backup power generator failed. 
The loss of backup power generators was quite "thinkable". It happened in New Orleans hospitals during Hurricane Katrina, and Manhattan is known to be at risk for flooding from storms (especially NYU, which is close to shore). Although the evacuation of NYU Langone and Bellevue hospitals is a story of how the medical community came together during trying times to save their patients, it also is a lesson in how foresight and preparedness go quite a long way.