Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014 05:04 am est

Select dorms prepare for future storms

Posted on October 17, 2013 | by Kavish Harjai

Olivia Ellis for WSN


One year after Hurricane Sandy hit New York on Oct. 29, 2012, NYU has completed some initiatives in response to the needs of displaced students.

Initiatives included incorporating a local emergency generator for Brittany residence hall during its scheduled renovation, which the university confirmed to be successful.

“The recent renovations did include emergency safety measures,” university spokesman Philip Lentz said. “Brittany is now equipped with ‘house’ or local, emergency generators. As for the future, Hayden residence will be renovated beginning May 2014. We are currently studying the most efficient energy source for that building.”

In July, the university also announced plans in the Preparation and Response Performance Review to install sufficient battery back-up and additional means of lighting in evacuation paths.

NYU also planned to expand the emergency generator distribution to increase food storage and serving capacity in the event of an extended power outage at Palladium residence hall. At Lafayette residence hall, the university outlined the concept of installing a portable generator connection.

The debilitating effects of the storm were felt by those in residence halls, although Goddard and Weinstein residence halls remained with electricity because they drew power from a different source. Only five of the other residence halls, Palladium, University, Founders, Third North and Gramercy, had local, emergency generators.

Other halls, such as Rubin, were left with only 90 minutes of battery-powered emergency lighting — available only in hallways and staircases.


Olivia Ellis for WSN


“This is according to the NYC Code,” Lentz said. “The rationale is that 90 minutes is enough time for the residents to evacuate the building. During these 90 minutes, there is emergency lighting in the hallways and stairwells, and there is enough power for the fire safety panels.”

Evacuation for Rubin was mandated two days after the superstorm, and several other evacuations were mandated as generators lost power. Students were set up with cots in the Kimmel Center for University Life and the Palladium Athletic Facility.

While the inconsistencies in dorm safety left some residents unprepared, NYU staff launched various initiatives to improve safety in future situations similar to Sandy.

Several students reflected on the aftermath of Sandy and New York City post-storm.

CAS junior Jenny Peng, who stayed in Brooklyn the week after Sandy, praised NYU’s efforts to ensure student safety following the storm.

“For the most part, NYU security was great. There were officers in the buildings at all times,” Peng said. “The administration was attentive. They sent university-wide emails to all students, about a few each day, to keep everyone posted.”

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Oct. 17 print edition. Kavish Harjai is a contributing writer. Email him at 


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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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