Storm Damage at NYU Library Offers Lessons for Disaster Planning in the Stacks

Storm Damage at NYU Library Offers Lessons for Disaster Planning in the Stacks 1

Tulane U.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, Tulane U.'s Howard-Tilton Memorial Library suffered extensive damage. For New York U.'s Ehrman Medical Library, Hurricane Sandy's destructive power "just reminds and reinforces how important disaster planning and preparedness is, and understanding your priorities," says one NYU librarian.

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close Storm Damage at NYU Library Offers Lessons for Disaster Planning in the Stacks 1

Tulane U.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, Tulane U.'s Howard-Tilton Memorial Library suffered extensive damage. For New York U.'s Ehrman Medical Library, Hurricane Sandy's destructive power "just reminds and reinforces how important disaster planning and preparedness is, and understanding your priorities," says one NYU librarian.

If a burst pipe can seriously damage library collections and facilities, consider what a monster storm can do. When Hurricane Sandy struck New York City on October 30, powerful winds and higher-than-usual tides sent a 14-foot surge of water from the East River through New York University's Langone Medical Center, shutting down the hospital, drowning thousands of mice and rats used in research, and swamping the Ehrman Medical Library.

"The force of the water was tremendous," said Paula