After Gustav, bigger generators needed

Emergency Management Alert, October 7, 2008

Healthcare officials reported that loss of power was the number one problem for Louisiana hospitals during Hurricane Gustav early last month, according to a report from the Advocate Capitol news bureau.
The loss of power was not surprising. More startling was the length of time so many Louisiana hospitals were without it. Many of them found they didn’t have generators powerful enough to operate air conditioning, sometimes for days.

“We learned that air conditioning is not a luxury. It is a necessity,” Teri Fontenot, president and chief executive officer of Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, told the newspaper.

Baton-Rouge area hospitals are evaluating their financial situations in order to upgrade their generator capacity. Some, such as Baton-Rouge General, are looking to federal grants to help with the cost, which is estimated to be around $10 million. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has suggested a federally funded program so that hospitals can get up to speed.
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