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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Hurricane Preparedness in New York State

The Hospital Preparedness Program Helps New York Prepare for Hurricane Sandy and Other Disasters

Before Hurricane Sandy was even predicted, the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) had been helping New York plan for many types of disasters, including coastal storms.  New York health officials worked with HPP to purchase equipment; complete capacity assessments; plan for vulnerable populations; and undertake other preparedness activities that would not have been possible without HPP funds and support. 

  • Equipment Purchases:  Using HPP funds, hospital facilities purchased cots, evacu-sleds, and durable medical equipment that enabled medical professionals to better help patients who could stay in the hospital and to evacuate patients when that became necessary.
  • Capacity Assessments:  Before the storm struck, 27 hospitals facilities located in flood zones had completed comprehensive assessments with detailed recommendations.  These assessments enabled hospitals to better assess their resilience and their ability to manage critical care patients and patients with special needs on-site during a coastal storm.  They also helped hospitals identify patients who were most vulnerable to injury if evacuation became necessary.
  • Planning for Vulnerable Populations:  HPP has funded assessments of health care facilities and the needs of vulnerable populations.  Using the results of these assessments, HPP was able to help hospitals develop checklists and other coastal storm planning documents.  In an emergency, every second counts, and these resources help hospitals make life-saving and life-sustaining decisions regarding evacuation more quickly.
  • After Action Review:  Every emergency produces data that can be analyzed and translated into lessons learned that can, in turn, help hospitals better respond to the next emergency.  Following Hurricane Irene, after action reports were submtitted for review to help improve our understanding of system-wide and facility specific issues as they relate to future storm events.  The information will be used as part of the overall assessment of readiness in the New York health care system.
  • Greater New York Hospital Association Funding:  The Greater New York Hospital Association, which is funded through an HPP grant, facilitates critical care planning at hospitals and volunteer management, helping hospitals and care providers make the most of every second during an emergency.
By planning in advance and working with HPP, hospitals became more prepared and had better tools at their disposal to protect and save lives when the storm struck.

  • This page last reviewed: November 20, 2013