The destruction that came about due to Hurricane Sandy has been well-chronicled, but not much has been reported about the hospitals and long-term care facilities that serve as home to many elderly Americans. Because of the double-barreled storm that brought high winds and rain along with a heavy snow, many facilities are still struggling to recover.
The storm forced a number of evacuations as emergency generators and elevators were shut down. Some facilities experienced severe flooding which effected boiler rooms and other auxiliaries that are commonly located in buildings’ basements.
In fact, more than a month after Sandy, a number of facilities cannot re-admit patients. In fact, New York and New Jersey have asked for more than $3 billion in federal aid for reconstruction efforts that will enable hospitals and care facilities to better prepare for future storms. In the meantime, millions of dollars in revenue has been lost as a result of the storm, and the costs of repairs could reach more than $20 million. Unfortunately, most insurance policies cap business interruption coverage at $1 million and flood insurance is limited to a similar amount
Indeed, a storm of Sandy’s magnitude is exceedingly rare, and many planners believed that they had more time to make changes. In the wake of the storm, a Building Resiliency Task Force has been formed that will develop recommendations for hospitals and nursing homes so that vulnerable people will not be threatened in weather related disasters.
As for damaged nursing homes, time will tell as to when they will reopen.
Source: Crains New York.com, Five hospitals struggle to reopen after Sandy, December 11, 2012