Lasting Impact

Twenty years have passed since Hurricane Hugo battered MUSC. Although physical evidence of the storm has faded away, the psychological and emotional effects linger for those who rode out the storm on campus.

The campus has grown dramatically in size and sophistication since 1989. With more than 2,400 students, over 500 graduate health professionals, a teaching staff of approximately 1,200 full-time and 150 part-time faculty, and thousands of health care professionals, the Medical University strives to ensure that everyone within its facilities are prepared for disasters.

Since Hugo, MUSC actively assesses and reassesses its emergency preparedness plans. At the start of every hurricane season, University Risk Management reviews its planning and response activities to ensure that medical staff, faculty, students, patients, and the campus as a whole are prepared for the inevitable next big hurricane.

Alonzo W. Nesmith, Jr., director of MUSC Safety and Security at that time, said of the 1989 storm, “Hugo proved that disaster preparedness is only as good as the people involved … and [they] performed flawlessly.”