RIEMA Announces Power Resiliency Initiative for
Rhode Island’s Critical Healthcare Facilities
Cranston, RI – The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) is announcing the development of a program that addresses the emergency power needs of critical healthcare facilities in Rhode Island.
The program, titled Powered for Patients, is a non-profit public-private initiative that aims to bring together key stakeholders in Rhode Island to develop an action plan to better safeguard backup power for healthcare facilities. Using federal funding from the Department of Homeland Security, the program will bolster Rhode Island’s power resiliency efforts by identifying gaps in the protection of backup power systems and the utility restoration process, developing plans for closing those gaps while exploring new technologies in power generation and delivery. Additionally, the program will also conduct a new round of emergency power generator assessments at healthcare facilities through a partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“We are excited to work with our Federal, State, local, and private partners to implement this important initiative for our state,” said Director Peter Gaynor. “By adopting this program, Rhode Island will become the first state in the U.S. to partake in this power resiliency initiative.”
In order to effectively manage this program for the State of Rhode Island, RIEMA will be working closely with the following entities:
- American Society of Healthcare Engineering
- Department of Homeland Security
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Hospital Association of Rhode Island
- National Grid
- Rhode Island Cities and Towns
- Rhode Island Department of Health
- Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources
- Rhode Island Office of the Governor
- Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
“The work we conduct in Rhode Island will help establish new protocols for enhanced information sharing and collaboration among government, utilities, and healthcare facilities that can boost resiliency in Rhode Island and become a model for other states,” said Eric Cote, project director for Powered for Patients. “One of the key lessons learned after Hurricane Sandy was that federal officials lacked sufficient situational awareness of failing hospital generators. The Rhode Island initiative will help address this problem by developing a protocol for how to best share information about threats to backup power systems with government officials and utilities. This enhanced situational awareness will enable more rapid deployment of government assets and more informed decision making by utilities in terms of prioritizing power restoration.”
“Rhode Island is susceptible to power outages stemming from natural disasters, such as hurricanes, winter storms, and floods, as well as man-made, and technological incidents. Therefore, it is crucial that we work together as a state to assist critical facilities that are dependent on power to provide support to Rhode Island’s most vulnerable populations,” concluded Director Gaynor.
RIEMA, with assistance from key stakeholders, aims to implement the Powered for Patients program for the State of Rhode Island by the Fall of 2016.
For more information contact RIEMA at (401) 946-9996.