A brief word on Superstorm Sandy

We all have been shocked by the images and stories coming in the devastating wake of Superstorm Sandy. We were all moved by the bravery of staff at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City who evacuated more than 215 patients in pitch-darkness after their backup power systems failed. Those patients included more than 20 ill and premature newborns from their neonatal intensive care unit. Staff acted bravely and calmly in accordance with their emergency preparedness plans to make sure every patient was moved safely – job well done.

Emergencies such as these can happen anywhere, anytime and there is no “cookie cutter” plan for response. But emergency preparedness is one key example of everything matters at Nationwide Children’s. We have full-time staff who dedicate all their time making sure our staff and our facilities are as prepared as possible. We hold drills and mock disasters several times a year to practice and refine our response. We are also blessed with new state-of-the-art facilities that have been designed with current-day disasters in mind.

Our new Central Energy Plant is a perfect example. Built as part of the campus expansion, we now have three modes of back-up power for the hospital including generators that have the potential to keep the hospital fully operational for several days with no power.

As we’ve learned there are no promises in disasters – there is only planning, preparation and often great acts of kindness and bravery that win the day. We hope disaster does not come to our doors but we will be prepared. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted by Sandy.

Donna Teach
Donna Teach is Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Nationwide Children's. Her job is to help the hospital feel "connected" – Connected to each other, connected to our patients and their families, referring physicians, the community and the world.

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