California’s Blackouts Reveal Healthcare’s Fragile Power System
November 1, 2019 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
During a recent blackout, Winters Healthcare, based in Winters, Calif., had to decide whether to keep a refrigerator full of vaccines running, or keep the community’s electronic health care records online, according to The Verge.
Winters Healthcare chose to use enough lights so that people could see and run the generator to keep the electronic health records accessible. It decided to close the dental clinic, and it sent its vaccines to a sister clinic that wasn’t expected to lose power.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company had shut off part of its power grid to reduce the risk of starting new fires. Because the blackouts could continue, this may be a question other healthcare facilities will face.
As the changing climate makes fires more likely, it’s more critical than ever that healthcare facilities are prepared for a present and future where power isn’t a guarantee.