Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.
June marks the start of hurricane and fire season for millions of Americans. Following the lessons of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the Camp Fire in Northern California, public health professionals should recognize its past time to address the dangers faced by more than 2.5 million Americans – primarily senior populations –when power outages due to storms, fires, or other disasters impact the home medical devices that the medically vulnerable need to survive.
How battery storage and solar technologies can mitigate this expanding risk is examined in a new report from two national nonprofits, Clean Energy Group and Meridian Institute: “Home Health Care in the Dark: Why Climate, Wildfires and Other Risks Call for New Resilient Energy Storage Solutions to Protect Medically Vulnerable Households from Power Outages.” The report details the risks associated with power outages for individuals reliant on electricity for in-home medical and mobility equipment and provides a set of recommendations to improve access to resilient power technologies.
In this webinar, report authors Marriele Mango and Annie Shapiro were joined by Kristen Finne of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services emPOWER program for a discussion on how resilient backup power technologies could benefit medically vulnerable households. The emPOWER program provides a map of Medicare beneficiaries dependent on electricity for medical equipment. Agencies responsible for emergency services, such as electric utilities and first responders, use the emPOWER map as an emergency response tool.
The webinar also featured a presentation by Mareldi Ahumada Paras from the University of Washington on a case study from Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria of PV-battery storage systems for powering critical loads during emergencies.
- Marriele Mango, Program Associate, Clean Energy Group
- Annie Shapiro, Program Associate, Meridian Institute
- Kristen Finne, emPOWER Program Director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Mareldi Ahumada Paras, University of Washington
This webinar was presented by Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project. Learn more at www.resilient-power.org.