U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency to approve nearly $6.5 million in federal funding for Peconic Bay Medical Center to install new generators and other improvements to guard against power outages at the hospital during storms like Sandy.
The 200-bed Riverhead hospital currently owns three generators and rents additional generators to keep operations running during storms.
Peconic Bay Medical Center applied for the money through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and hopes to use it to install two additional generators, along with adding protection for the existing generators by modifying the hospital’s roof and upgrading its windows and doors, according to Mr. Schumer.
“As the largest and most comprehensive healthcare facility on the East End, PBMC plays a unique and critically important role during regional emergencies,” said PBMC president and CEO Andrew Mitchell in a press release. “The FEMA HMGP program will ensure that PBMC can continue to meet the health and safety needs of the nearly 200,000 men, women and children who rely us every day and even more so in the event of disasters.”
“Power and structural failures during a natural disaster could potentially force thousands of people to be without life-saving, nearby medical care,” Mr. Schumer’s press release stated.
He said that if PBMC were forced to evacuate patients due to power outages or flooding as a result of a storm, many of them would have to travel more than 30 miles in dangerous conditions.
FEMA’s hazard mitigation grant program provides funding to states to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters, Mr. Schumer said.
Photo: U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. (Credit: John Dunn, file)