Dear Members of the Pratt Community,
Pratt stands with the many New Yorkers and people all across the region who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones, homes, and livelihoods. I am amazed, but not at all surprised, by the compassion and initiative I’ve seen on campus over the last few weeks.
With the exception of a few broken windows, downed tree branches, a big fallen tree on Willoughby Avenue on the Brooklyn campus, and a power outage in Manhattan, Pratt itself was largely unscathed by the storm. This is in no small part due to the detailed preparations and commitment of the facilities, security, residence hall, and dining services staff who ensured that operations ran smoothly and that students were safe and fed even if it meant that they themselves needed to spend the night on campus. Classes resumed three days after the storm in Brooklyn and a week later in Manhattan after power was restored. Throughout, our campus alert system notified students, faculty, and staff of news and updates through text messages and emails.
Recovery throughout the New York metropolitan area, of course, may take much longer. On campus, students have led recovery efforts for affected areas by gathering donations, supporting local businesses, volunteering with clean-up efforts, as well as envisioning how long-term planning for future disasters might be incorporated in the curriculum.
I am sure this is just the beginning of Pratt’s involvement with recovery efforts. It warms my heart to see our community rallying to help each other and, more often, people they have never met.
Thomas F. Schutte