Too often following disasters, elected officials and healthcare executives make restoration requests of utilities without much understanding of the proven process utilities have used for decades to prioritize restoration of electric power after a storm or natural disaster.
Powered for Patients is working across the nation to foster dialogue between utilities, government officials and healthcare leaders before disaster strikes. The goal of this increased dialogue is to better safeguard backup power and enhance the power restoration process for critical healthcare facilities.
Utilities and their trade associations have been a critical component of Powered for Patients’ success. This support has enabled Powered for Patients to develop a deeper understanding of the prioritized restoration process for healthcare facilities and learn about best practices currently in place with individual utilities.
“Sir, the governor is on line one…”
Government leaders who better understand the challenges facing utilities after a disaster can help utilities by minimizing requests for information and marshalling state and federal resources. Informed elected leaders and government officials can also help by:
- Expediting access to government fuel supplies for utility repair fleets
- Relaxing tolling and weigh station requirements for mutual aid utility crews traveling across state lines
- Providing timely information about hospitals and other critical healthcare facilities at risk of losing backup power due to mechanical failures or lack of fuel supplies
Federally funded initiatives are currently underway to evaluate opportunities to enhance the prioritized restoration process. This work includes a look at how public health preparedness officials can become more engaged in the prioritized restoration process with utilities and other government decision makers. Powered for Patients is engaged in these efforts and can help facilitate involvement by the utility industry.
Safeguarding Hospital Backup Power Systems Can Take Pressure Off Utilities
Like utility executives, hospital leaders and the operators of other critical healthcare facilities face enormous pressures following a disaster. Protecting backup power is one of the most important missions. Failure of backup power systems can turn an emergency into a life-threatening crisis and put pressure on utilities to change prioritization strategies to rescue a powerless facility.
Powered for Patients is working closely with hospitals and other critical healthcare facilities to help them safeguard backup power systems to minimize requests to modify a utility’s prioritized restoration plans. This is accomplished through pre-disaster planning that can help ensure sufficient fuel supplies, replacement generators and ready access for generator service personnel.
Share a Best Practice
If you believe your utility is employing a best practice in disaster planning and response, including the prioritized restoration process, we encourage you to share these best practices with Powered for Patients. You can do so by emailing a simple narrative or a copy of your best practice to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us also know if we can share your best practice on this website.
What Utility Leaders Are Saying About Powered for Patients
“I was pleased to take part in the initial Powered for Patients Stakeholder Meeting and look forward to continuing our work with Powered for Patients. Florida Power and Light has done a great deal of work to help harden utility infrastructure that connects to our hospitals. We look forward to sharing our best practices with Powered for Patients so our experience can bring value to other utilities and hospitals around the country. From our perspective, one of the most important outcomes Powered for Patients can achieve is helping hospitals safeguard their backup power systems. This can minimize the risk of a hospital losing backup power following a disaster and allow utilities to implement their prioritized restoration protocol which certainly has hospital restoration as one of the top priorities.”
Victor Fleites Sr.
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for Customer Service
Florida Power & Light