Resilient Hospitals Handbook: Strengthening Healthcare and Public Health Resilience in Advance of a Prolonged and Widespread Power Outage

byCharles “Chuck” Manto, Earl Motzer PhD, James Terbush MD

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A number of high-impact threats to critical infrastructure can result in a regional or nationwide months-long power outage, making it unlikely for timely outside help to arrive. Hospitals are encouraged to gain the capacity to make and store enough power on-site to operate in island mode indefinitely without outside sources of power or fuel and protect on-site capabilities from threats that could impact regional commercial power systems. This handbook outlines challenges and opportunities to solve these problems so hospitals, healthcare facilities, and other resources might become more resilient. From the Second Goal of the 2015 National Space Weather Strategy:
• “Complete an all-hazards power outage response and recovery plan: —for extreme space weather event and the long-term loss of electric power and cascading effects on other critical infrastructure sectors.
• Other low-frequency, high-impact events are also capable of causing long-term power outages on a regional or national scale.
• The plan must include the Whole Community.”

From the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency
• “An electromagnetic (EM) attack (nuclear electromagnetic pulse [EMP] or non-nuclear EMP [e.g., high-power microwave, HPM]) has the potential to degrade or shut down portions of the electric power grid important to DoD.
• Restoring the commercial grid from the still functioning regions may not be possible or could take weeks or months. Significant elements of the DCI require uninterrupted power for prolonged periods to perform time-critical missions (e.g., sites hardened to MIL-STD-188-125-1).
• To ensure these continued operations, DCI sites must be able to function as a microgrid that can operate in both grid-connected and intentional island-mode (grid-isolated).