NFPA Journal recently talked to Eric Cote, a communications and policy consultancy based in Rhode Island, about Powered for Patients, a public–private organization he and colleague Cara Klein started in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy. The organization's aim is to protect hospital patients by ensuring proper backup power and expedited power restoration for critical healthcare facilities.
When asked about the most urgent issues the organization faces, Cote said that one of their greatest opportunities is to help utilities and hospitals build closer working relationships to avoid outages when possible and enable faster restoration of power.
“We’ve spoken to generator service companies that were unable to service their hospital clients because they couldn’t get through restricted areas during Hurricane Sandy, or they couldn’t get fuel for their service trucks,” he said. “Another issue is a growing concern about what happens to at-risk citizens who are using in-home dialysis machines or relying on ventilators or oxygen concentrators in their homes. What happens when the power goes out and there is a prolonged outage?”
Cote elaborates on these and other concerns and opportunities in “Powered Up” in the latest issue of NFPA Journal.