Health-care owners, contractors and other stakeholders are grappling with a host of issues in Superstorm Sandy's wake. As the storm's waters filled hospital basements and, in many cases, reached first floors, one question that has arisen is where to relocate the information-technology and other critical systems and equipment that typically reside there. While the 2001 terrorist attacks caused many hospitals to install wide-area networks and create remote backup systems, stormproofing is prompting a look into their basements.
Many hospitals in the region's low-lying areas were severely flooded, including the basements of New York City Health and Hospitals Corp.'s (HHC) Bellevue, Coney Island and Coler-Goldwater hospitals. At Bellevue, where water gushed in through two loading docks, more than 200 pieces of "very important equipment" were destroyed in the 186,000-sq-ft basement, says an HHC spokesman. At the Coney Island hospital, waters not only filled the basement but rose nine to 12 inches in the first floor.