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Press Release


Chancellor Zimpher Commends SBU's Emergency Response on LI

Nov 2, 2012 - 2:30:00 PM

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SBU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. MD, and Sr. Vice President for Administration Barbara Chernow, examine an overturned trailer on campus during their campus assessment in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
STONY BROOK, NY, November 2, 2012 – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today commended Stony Brook University’s emergency response on Long Island. Stony Brook University’s Emergency Operations Center was activated on Friday, October 26, in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, operated with 24/7 staffing throughout the storm, and is aiding in local efforts as the crisis and recovery phase of the operation continues.
 
“The foresight and early preparation of Stony Brook University’s leadership team coupled with local volunteers and the campus’ dedicated personnel enabled SBU to step up and serve as a beacon for hundreds of residents and patients who were affected by the storm,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “I commend President Stanley for his leadership and the campus’ vigilance during this challenging time.”
 
“I am extraordinarily proud of the Emergency Management team, the outstanding coordination of the Emergency Operations Center, and our dedicated faculty and staff who reported to work in the midst of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation and destruction,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD.  “The communications efforts with the internal campus community and the external emergency management communities have been world class, and I know our team stands ready to provide support and care where it is needed most.”
 
Downed trees in Stony Brook University's R&D Park.
Stony Brook was fortunate in that the entire main campus operation, including the Hospital and Long Island State Vets Home, experienced only a brief power outage (less than one hour) during the storm. Stony Brook University has its own cogeneration (power) plant and its connection to LIPA is in place in the event that our plant experiences an interruption of service. This did not occur during Hurricane Sandy.
 
Stony Brook has been engaged and involved in providing services and assistance to the members of the campus community and to the external emergency services community as well. Some examples of the services being provided include:

  • Stony Brook University’s Southampton campus is housing New York State Troopers; all necessary essentials are being supplied; the campus is also providing shelter and relief accommodations for emergency utility workers as needed.
  • Stony Brook University Emergency Operations Center has offered and delivered requested supplies to our colleagues from the Southampton Town police and are evaluating other requests from the State Emergency Operations Center and is fulfilling requests when possible.
  • Since the inception of the storm, the Stony Brook University Police Department has been staffing traffic control 24/7 at various intersections on the main external campus thoroughfare while intersection traffic lights are inoperable. Currently, the University has dispatched resources to supply emergency power (generators) to those traffic lights, and maintains a physical police presence to ensure safety.
  • The University Emergency Management Office has offered Emergency Operations Center resources to colleagues at the Department of Environmental Conservation as a backup location for its emergency management operations.
  • Evaluating contingencies to transport essential hospital employees
  • Stony Brook University students have started to organize relief efforts for Long Island residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.
  • Provided sleeping accommodations and food for nearly 400 staff, visitors and discharged patients who could not return home.
  • Accepted patients who had been evacuated from other hospitals on Long Island
  • Provided EMS transport for evacuated patients from and to various other facilities, and then repatriated them
  • Provided the full range of hospital services, with the brief exception of elective procedures and routine clinic visits, and ensured continuity of hospital operations
  • Maintained continuous liaison with the other 11 partnering hospitals in Suffolk, as well as with Suffolk County Department of Fire Rescue & Emergency Services Office of Emergency Management, Suffolk County Department of Health (Public Health), Suffolk County Department of Health (EMS), NYS Department of Health, Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, Greater New York Hospital Association, and long term health care facilities
  • Provide ongoing dialogue via the NYSDOH Health Commerce System's HERDS program of SBU's surge capacity, bed availability, beds used, vents used, ICU status, and infrastructure status, as well as the Suffolk E-Team system
  • Responded to significant influx of patients post-event, as well as medical emergencies mid-event
  • Coordinating ongoing mental health capabilities for both staff and community
  • Assisted with provision of resources to other partners, e.g. linens for Stony Brook Southampton shelter

Stony Brook University classes were cancelled for all campus locations throughout the week following Hurricane Sandy. Classes are expected to resume according to schedule on Monday, November 5 for the Main campus and the Medicine Campus. Residential students from the Stony Brook Southampton campus were evacuated to the Main campus in Stony Brook, and a decision to restore classes at the Southampton and Manhattan campuses will be made on a day by day basis.
 
The Office of Student Affairs and the divisions of Campus Residences and Campus Dining were all on hand during and after the storm to accommodate the more than 7,000 residential students with emergency provisions for breakfast, lunch and dinner and with Campus Life activities scheduled on a moments’ notice to ensure that residential students would have a number of different activities in which to participate during the down time of the aftermath.
 
Stony Brook is currently running on full power with internet service and email connectivity, and all Athletic events scheduled for the weekend will take place as scheduled including the home football game scheduled on Saturday at 6 pm against Virginia Military Institute and the American East Conference Men’s Soccer Tournament scheduled for 12 noon on Saturday.
 
About Stony Brook University
Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on 1,450 acres. Since its founding in 1957, the University has grown tremendously, now with nearly 25,000 students and 2,200 faculty members and is recognized as one of the nation’s important centers of learning and scholarship. It is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, and co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, joining an elite group of universities, including Berkeley, University of Chicago, Cornell, MIT, and Princeton that run federal research and development laboratories. SBU is a driving force of the Long Island economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs, and accounting for nearly 4% of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.
 
About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating approximately 468,000 students in more than 7,500 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses with nearly 3 million alumni around the globe. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu

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© Stony Brook University 2013

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