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Hazard Mitigation and Risk Assessment IMAGE: MISHELLA / Shutterstock.com Healthcare Facilities: Lessons Learned after Hurricane Sandy By John Ingargiola, EI, CBO, CFM and Diana Castro, PE H urricane Sandy made landfall at Brigantine, New Jersey, on October 29, 2012, as a 1,000-mile-wide, post-tropical cyclone, with estimated sustained winds of 80 miles per hour (mph) and a minimum pressure of 945 millibars. Although the wind speed was on the lower end of a Category 1 hurricane, the pressure was typical of a Category 3 hurricane. The most prevalent damage associated with Sandy came from inundation. The highest inundation was recorded well north of the storm center, near the New York City lower bay and harbor. This phenomenon can be partially attributed to the concave shape of the shoreline at that location, the direction of the storm landfall and the timing of the storm, which coincided with a spring high tide. Hurricane Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season and the third-costliest hurricane in U.S. history. The storm surge and inundation associated with Hurricane Sandy significantly affected many critical facilities, severely reducing or interrupting their functionality and the services they provide to the community. Damage to critical facilities reduced available emergency services, necessitated diversion of resources to recover functionality and placed additional Hurricane categories range from Category 1 (lowest) to Category 5 (highest). For more information: www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php. 12 JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF BUILDING SCIENCES – OCTOBER 2014 Critical facilities include hospitals and nursing homes, as well as housing for the elderly, which are likely to contain occupants who may not be sufficiently mobile to avoid the loss of life or injury during flood and storm events. Figure 1: The locations of the healthcare facilities visited by the mitigation assessment team (MAT) were widespread across the New York-New Jersey area.