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California hospitals prepare for power outages amid wildfire threats

Hospitals, nursing homes and home health providers are creating new disaster protocols amid wildfire season in California, reports Kaiser Health News.

Hospitals' preparations come as three major utility companies plan to cut power in large areas of the state when conditions could be conducive to wildfires. One such company, Pacific Gas & Electric, is aiming to give communities 48 hours' notice before a blackout.

California law requires hospitals to have backup generators for critical care operations. However, the threat of prolonged blackouts may complicate treatment for patients who require ventilators or home dialysis.

Chico, Calif.-based Enloe Medical Center has run emergency drills tailored for power outages. Facilities management director Bill Seguine said the drills helped leaders realize they also needed a generator for their office staff to access medical records and contact patients about rescheduling appointments or procedures. The hospital has also asked Pacific Gas & Electric to notify leaders about power outages in outpatient offices it leases in other buildings.

To view KHN's full article, click here.

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