Disruption of Health Care From the CA Fires

From Govtech: California Wildfires, Power Outages Are Disrupting Health Care
Across California, wildfires and outages have forced health-care providers to close hospitals and medical clinics, or greatly limit services. Both Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health evacuated their Santa Rosa hospitals.

Another concern is that of people with health and disabilities.  See: Disabled seniors in Ca. complex left behind during outageThanks to Chris Jones for this citation.

Evacuating from Fires

From the WashPost: As fires rage, California refines an important skill: Evacuating. An excerpt:

Cities are using emergency powers to send mobile alerts to all residents. Authorities are giving far more time to families and businesses to leave danger zones, which have expanded in size. And residents are quicker to trust the calls to evacuate. The new evacuation strategies are a sign of how California, strung between the dueling risks of fires and rolling power outages, is adapting to a new reality many officials attribute to climate change.

 

Home Health Care in the Dark

From the HSDL: Home Health Care in the Dark addresses the importance of resilient power (“continuous, reliable power even when the electric grid goes down for an extended period of time”) not only to hospitals, but to an increasing number of households utilizing in-home health care.

The authors propose clean, reliable alternatives to generator power, such as battery storage and solar energy, in order to protect energy-dependent communities that would be at risk in an emergency.

The direct link to the 34 page report is here.

From GAO: Disaster Resilience Framework

Another important new report from the GAO: Disaster Resilience Framework. Principles for Analyzing Federal Efforts to Facilitate and Promote Resilience to Natural Disasters.

Update: Some additional information on the framework from the GAO.

The Diva is interested in hearing from readers knowledgeable about resilience research about how this report meshes, or not, with other efforts, such as the publications of the National Academy of Sciences.

New GAO Report on Recovery

Disaster Recovery: Recent Disasters Highlight Progress and Challenges. GAO-20-183T: Published: Oct 22, 2019. Report is 37 pp.; highlights also available.

The federal government faces challenges in helping communities recover from disasters. Disaster costs are projected to rise as extreme weather becomes more frequent and intense. Federal disaster assistance since 2005 has topped $450 billion.

We testified that federal recovery programs are complicated and can be slow to provide help. For example, FEMA provided $2.4 billion to help communities recover from wildfires from 2015-2018. Yet, local officials cited challenges in providing housing, removing debris, and meeting FEMA’s paperwork requirements.

This is an important report; it covers a lot of recent history and many facets of recovery.