Mayor Bill de Blasio and US Senator Charles Schumer announced on Thursday that the City has secured a commitment of at least $1.6 billion in funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to repair and protect the City’s public hospitals damaged during Hurricane Sandy.
Council Members Chaim Deutsch and Mark Treyger joined the event that took place at Coney Island Hospital.
The allocation has been the largest FEMA single allocated award ever, Senator Schumer stated. The at least $1.6 billion package will include reimbursement for repairs to HHC facilities – Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, Metropolitan Hospital Center in Manhattan, and Coler Specialty Hospital on Roosevelt Island – for damage incurred during Hurricane Sandy, and funds for mitigation projects that will protect the hospitals from the impact of future extreme weather.
“Few services are as critical as our hospitals during extreme weather. This unprecedented investment will make four key public hospitals much more resilient next time they need to be,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the press conference. “Thanks to FEMA’s $1.6 billion commitment, we’re taking a major step forward in advancing our comprehensive resiliency plan and ensuring that doctors, nurses, and health care workers will be able to do what they do best—serve their patients. We’re grateful for Senator Schumer’s continued partnership in securing these—and so many other—funds as we build a stronger and more resilient New York City.”
“This historic, over $1.6 billion federal investment will provide a massive shot of adrenaline for New York City’s public hospitals, and their physical and financial recovery from Superstorm Sandy,” remarked Senator Schumer. “The largest of its kind, this FEMA Public Assistance award will help ensure that our public hospitals have the necessary safeguards in place to operate continuously during a storm, mitigate damage and power loss, and, if evacuation is necessary, quickly return to normalcy. Smart recovery and resiliency work at New York’s great public hospitals, which serve millions each day, is exactly what we had in mind when crafting the Sandy relief bill, and I’m thrilled to have helped deliver this federal funding.”
These FEMA funds, which will advance the City’s Comprehensive Resiliency Plan, will go towards reimbursement for repairs already made to the hospital’s basement, first floor, electrical systems, and will include construction of a new critical services building that will house an Emergency Department on the second floor. Essential services, such as emergency power generators, heating and cooling systems, and water pumps will be installed in the new building. The hospital will also build a new 1,720-foot flood wall that will protect critical services.
“In the crucial months following Hurricane Sandy, residents were transported and referred to nearby hospitals. In a medical emergency seconds can mean the difference between life and death.” said Council Member Deutsch. “I thank Mayor de Blasio and Senator Schumer for securing this substantial allocation that will strengthen Coney Island Hospital’s infrastructure, making the hospital more resilient to future extreme weather, improving our healthcare system and safeguarding vital patient care.”