Critical healthcare facilities: emergency power being put to the test with arrival of Hurricane Florence

Blog Post created by rsolomon Employee on Sep 13, 2018
As the southern East Coast of the U.S. braces for Hurricane Florence, one group is urging healthcare facilities and others to take important steps now to safeguard emergency power. 
Powered for Patients, which was formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to raise awareness of the importance of bringing people together before a disaster to help avoid a loss of power, has issued a checklist of key steps for facility managers to help keep back up power running as smoothly as possible during what could be extended power outages. This information also encourages emergency managers, public health officials, utilities and healthcare facility administrators to have conversations prior to Florence's landfall to clarify notification protocols for any critical healthcare facility that may experience a threat to its emergency power.
Such preparations are also an integral part of an emergency preparedness rule passed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that took effect in November 2017. The new criteria requires healthcare providers to have extensive plans in place for numerous types of events including hurricanes. Requirements for emergency and backup power supplies as well as consideration of other logistical needs for long-duration events are an important part of the rule. NFPA has a resource page explaining the expected planning provisions to help medical providers with their emergency preparedness needs. 
September is National Preparedness Month and with hurricane season lasting through November, many healthcare facilities and related businesses in coastal regions are taking action now to ensure they are prepared for impending storms. The checklist is a great resource to use as you work on preparations.
In 2015, NFPA Journal interviewed the co-founder of Powered for Patients, Eric Cote, who credited NFPA with helping the group understand the technical aspects of backup power in terms of codes and standards and accreditation guidelines. 
Industry professionals looking for additional information about Powered for Patients and how their organization can become involved can visit its website