The Impact of Hurricanes on Hospitals
With hurricanes like Maria and Florence devastating island and coastal areas in just the last 12 months, and others like Katrina and Irene that are still being dealt with years later, water damage from the rains and floods that they produce are a very real concern for hospitals requiring reliable and dependable power in times of crisis.
Consider the Following
Below is a timely checklist of eight things to consider to better prepare your healthcare facility in case of a water emergency:
- Consider whether electrical rooms on lower floors are subject to external flooding in certain situations, including 10-year, 50-year, and 100-year flooding conditions.
- Because water typically finds the lowest elevation, carefully consider where your sump pump is placed and the power source that supports it.
- Because water is a conduit, consider the electrical safety of all portable power generation equipment connections used in an emergency.
- Consider physically separating normal power equipment from emergency power equipment to avoid a single source of failure due to flooding.
- Consider regular inspection of your emergency power supply systems so that you meet the minimum requirements stipulated in Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems (NFPA 110).
- Consider using power systems with multiple electrical utility feeds that can be switched automatically, manually or both.
- Consider contingency planning options for cases of power failure that go beyond just a loss of incoming utility service. Flooding can impact multiple internal components in your hospital such as transfer switches, panelboards, switchboards, and more. Account for all of them.
- Consider your response time to each of the different failure points mentioned above. Each failure has its own unique timeline and contingency plan to consider.
And It’s Not Just About Hurricanes
Water damage doesn’t just occur because of external situations like bad weather. Internal failures from pipe or tank leaks and breaks are common situations requiring immediate attention and responsiveness.
At IEM, we have the expertise you need to assess your hospital’s preparedness and power distribution needs in the event of any calamity, whether external or internal. Contact us today to learn more.