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Report shows that many Florida health centers are in need of emergency backup power capabilities – State of Reform


Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Florida is vulnerable to pure disasters. A brand new one report exhibits that many well being facilities there want backup energy capabilities to make sure that residents obtain the required well being care providers throughout these crises.

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Hurricane Ian hit southwest Florida on Sept. 28, 2022, and triggered large energy outages affecting 3.28 million residents. Nearly 150 folks died, together with some who died after energy outages compromised their potential to make use of electricity-dependent medical gear. And weather-related energy outages elevated by 78 p.c from 2011-2021 (in comparison with 2000-2010).

The Florida Affiliation of Group Well being Facilities (FACHC) has partnered with the Clear Vitality Group to conduct a survey of the emergency backup energy capabilities of Florida’s 800-plus neighborhood well being facilities. The FACHC goals to evaluate which well being facilities have emergency energy sources, consider the varieties of emergency energy at the moment utilized in well being facilities, and construct consciousness of obtainable choices to extend resilience. on.

“We have to know that well being facilities have the power to function after an emergency like Hurricane Ian. That is the place to begin. We have to collect extra info and tie this analysis to the preparedness of emergency in all fields. What are the present capabilities of well being facilities in Florida, and what different assets are wanted in energy outage conditions?

– Sheila Zachow, director of public relations and communications at FACHC

FACHC carried out a survey that was shared with 50 well being facilities (representing over 800 websites), and acquired 32 responses. The survey outcomes confirmed that greater than 60 p.c of the well being facilities surveyed didn’t have a backup energy system in place, and so they cited value and lack of technical data as the most important boundaries to having one.

The report additionally exhibits that energy outages value Florida well being facilities a median of $41,000 per day in misplaced income. It discovered that 83 p.c of well being facilities surveyed retailer temperature-controlled vaccines on web site, however solely 40 p.c of services have backup energy to take care of cooling within the occasion of a breakdown.

The report features a techno-economic evaluation for the usage of photo voltaic vitality storage for emergency backup energy in seven of the well being facilities surveyed. FACHC will proceed to conduct assessments for well being facilities which have expressed curiosity in pursuing alternatives within the vitality sector.

FACHC will proceed to hunt assets to help well being facilities of their efforts to develop and set up backup energy methods, Zachow stated.

“There’s extra work to be accomplished. We all know that there are numerous well being facilities that have to arrange an emergency system. This lets us know that well being facilities are taking this difficulty of energy critically. They’re searching for assets, whether or not it is a completely different kind of energy backup or funding, they’re searching for alternatives to verify their websites have backup energy methods.

And it helps us discover the assets and capabilities that assist them try this. We hope that we can switch a better share of well being facilities to a spot the place they’ve an emergency backup system.

— Zachow

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