Activation of Emergency Operations Plan allowed hospital and nursing homes to remain open, treat patients during Hurricane Sandy
New York – The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced a $695,000 Public Assistance grant to Episcopal Health Services to reimburse some of the costs incurred before, during and after Hurricane Sandy. On October 27, 2012, in anticipation of the hurricane, the Episcopal Health Services activated its Emergency Operations Plan. Preparations included patient evacuation, setting up generators to provide back-up power and establishing a temporary medical facility capable of treating Sandy survivors.
Despite losing power because of the hurricane, Episcopal Health Services facilities not only continued operating but also accepted additional patients during and after the storm. St. John’s Episcopal Hospital experienced an estimated 40 percent increase in patients seeking treatment.
“The Episcopal Health Services had an emergency plan in place before the storm,” said Michael F. Byrne, FEMA federal coordinating officer. “By implementing that plan and through the dedication of the doctors, nurses and staff, the Episcopal Health Services saved lives and provided shelter to residents in the Rockaways, Long Beach, Atlantic Beach and Five Town communities.”
“This money will go a long way in helping a key organization that stepped up when the medical community and local neighborhoods needed them,” said Jerome M. Hauer, Commissioner of the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. “The preparation St. John’s Episcopal took ahead of time, and the influx of patients taken during the storm, shows how dedicated this region is and how we respond during times of disaster.”
Episcopal Health Services is a critical health care private nonprofit organization comprising three major entities: St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Bishop MacLean Episcopal Nursing Home and Bishop Hucles Episcopal Nursing Home. The facilities lost power on October 29, 2012, but continued to provide medical care to patients by using generators until electrical power was restored on November 9, 2012.
Private non-profit agencies that provide what are defined as critical services to the community may file a Request for Public Assistance from FEMA for reimbursement of costs incurred for emergency work performed as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
Facilities that provide critical services include:
- Hospitals and other medical-treatment facilities;
- Fire, police and other emergency services;
- Power, water and sewer utilities; and
- Educational institutions.
Private nonprofits that provide what are defined as essential services to the community may also be eligible for PA to repair damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. However, these private non-profits must first apply to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for a low-interest loan.
Facilities that provide essential services include:
- Libraries, museums and zoos;
- Community centers;
- Disability advocacy and service providers;
- Homeless shelters and rehabilitation facilities; and
- Senior citizen centers and day-care centers.
FEMA reimburses no less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for emergency protective measures and permanent restoration costs, including debris removal and infrastructure repair or replacement.
The deadlines for Requests for Public Assistance are:
- Jan. 17, 2013 for Greene County;
- Jan. 28, 2013: for Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Richmond, Suffolk and Queens counties;
- Feb. 1, 2013: for Rockland and Westchester counties; and
- Feb. 11, 2013: for Orange, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster counties.