As Nor'easter Moves in, State and City Health Commissioners Order Evacuation of Four Health Care Facilities in the Rockaways

Albany, N.Y. (November 6, 2012) - Due to a major Nor'easter predicted to strike New York City and the greater metropolitan region early Wednesday morning, New York State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah and City Health Commissioner Tom Farley issued today evacuation orders for four health care facilities in the Rockaways. These efforts are a precaution to protect the health and safety of residents and staff. The facilities include three nursing homes, Park Nursing Home (181 residents), Ocean Promenade Nursing Center (91 residents) and Peninsula Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation (180 residents), as well as one adult care center, Surfside Manor Home for Adults (173 residents).

"With the approach of this storm, we are taking the necessary precautions to continue to protect the health and safety of residents and staff at these facilities," Commissioner Shah said. "To this end, we are working directly with affected sites - as well as others in surrounding areas - to help ensure they are prepared for another potentially significant weather event."

These four facilities are the last remaining sites in the Rockaways to evacuate since Hurricane Sandy made landfall on Oct. 29. While this storm is predicted to create a minor, three- to four-foot surge, the potential impact is greater as Sandy has already devastated dunes in the area. As EMS, FDNY, and other first responders are fully engaged in ongoing response and recovery efforts, these evacuations are deemed necessary. Finally, evacuations are necessary as these facilities are currently on generators, and the risk of damage to these sources of power exists. Officials from the Healthcare Facilities Evacuation Coordination Center (HEC) are in hourly contact with the affected facilities. All facilities will be evacuated today.

Additionally, HEC officials are in constant contact with other affected health care facilities in the surrounding areas. In anticipation of the storm, DOH staff are assessing facilities' preparedness plans, including generator capacity; supplies of water, food and fuel; as well as identifying the need and capability to move residents to higher floors, should the need arise. These precautionary measures were also employed prior to Hurricane Sandy, where evacuation resulted in no known injuries or harm.