How Prepared Is Your Hospital For a Blackout?
If your answer to the question posed above doesn’t go beyond, “We have a generator system in place,” then your hospital isn’t prepared for the next blackout or brownout to roll through the power grid. When power disruptions occur, a whole series of actions need to commence. Phone calls must be made, systems must be idled, services delayed, and contingency plans put to the test. At Gen-Tech, we know the critical importance of every health facility’s backup power; we also know that without a supporting plan, a functional generator will do little more than buy you time before a critical event occurs.
Preparing for Failure
Blackouts and brownouts are inevitable as demand grows and infrastructure ages. It’s not a question of if, but rather, when, the next will occur. The following steps will help ensure your hospital is ready when that happens.
- Connect with the Utility Provider – Make sure their emergency phone number and the names of their personnel are up to date. You will also want to verify where you fit within their distribution network, and whether your facility is a “priority” facility in the event of a failure.
- Do the Drill – When was the last time you organized a drill simulating a blackout or brownout? If it’s been a while, put your people through their paces, test your systems, and address any deficiencies before they cause major risks to your patients and staff.
- Connect with the Healthcare Community – Do you have partnerships established with other hospitals and healthcare providers in the area? Establishing strong connections can help ensure your patients have the critical support they need if power within your facility goes down.
- Test Your System – In addition to standard maintenance, make sure your load calculations are up-to-date. This is especially important if you have purchased new equipment that wasn’t factored into the load requirements for your emergency power generation systems.
Assessing (and Reassessing) Your Priorities
A health facility’s backup power system can do a lot, but it can’t do everything. When blackouts and brownouts occur, a certain amount of discomfort and disruption should be expected. And, the longer the disruption, the more you will have to cut back on non-essential systems and services to ensure that your system maintains power for critical care.
There is no easy answer when it comes to determining which systems to scale back and cut first. However, lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation can all be scaled back without too much discomfort. Further, shutting down non-essential rooms, non-essential computers, televisions, etc. will go a long way towards ensuring your respiratory care wards, cardiac units, intensive care ward, surgical rooms, etc. are up and running throughout the power disruption.
Is your health facility’s backup power system in need of a tune-up? The team at Gen-Tech Power Generation Specialists can help! We encourage you to contact us at (800) 625-8324 to schedule generator maintenance right away. We’ll put your system through its paces to ensure you will have the power you need to get through the next power emergency.