270484 A community partnership: Binghamton University's response to a natural disaster

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 4:30 PM - 4:50 PM

Frances Srnka-Debnar, PhDc, MS, RN , Decker School of Nursing, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
Rosa D. Darling, PhD, RNC-NIC , Decker School of Nursing, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
Gale A. Spencer, PhD, RN , Decker School of Nursing, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
On September 7, 2011 the Southern Tier of New York was inundated by record high flood waters. Rivers washed onto roadways and into neighborhoods, creating what has been called a 500 year flood. Houses were submerged. Residents were rescued from rising waters by boats or from rooftops from helicopter. Many roadways and bridges were impassable. Twenty thousand residents were evacuated, as the Susquehanna set records by cresting higher than 25 feet and went over the city's retaining walls. Many of these residents came from assisted living facilities, as well as nursing homes. At Binghamton University, college officials, American Red Cross workers, Campus Dining Services, and others set up 1800 cots for evacuees in the Binghamton University Events Center. The space was immediately filled to capacity. Hundreds of Binghamton University staff and students volunteered and joined with the University to shelter, feed, and entertain the evacuees. In addition, more than 150 special needs evacuees who were chronically ill as well as physically and emotionally compromised were cared for at the West Gym by volunteer health care personnel, including many Decker School of Nursing faculty and students. Local hospitals provided medical supplies, medication, respiratory support, personnel, and linens for this population. Community participants have met to debrief and discuss lessons learned. This presentation will discuss: how well the partnership functioned; an analysis of what happened; and what could be done to improve the response.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1.The learner will describe the partnership between the Community and Binghamton University and its response to the September 2011 flood. 2.The learner will evaluate the response to the September 2011 flood and discuss what could have been done to improve the response.

Keywords: Disasters, Community Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I conducted the disaster research study on the 2011 Binghamton New York Flood in which this presentation is based.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.