Many biomedical research facilities are ill-equipped to withstand natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey, putting years of research and millions of dollars at risk, according to a recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
The exact scope of Harvey’s damage remains unclear, but past disasters indicate that it could be far-reaching. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy destroyed more than $20 million worth of scientific equipment at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, according to Nature, and Tropical Storm Allison caused such severe damage to the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston that some were forced to restart their research from scratch.
In the report, Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation’s Investment, the National Academies urges institutions to put in place comprehensive and integrative disaster resilience plans; create partnerships with local, state, and national emergency organizations; and implement mandatory disaster resilience education and training programs.
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