Oct 29, 2019 - Energy & Environment

California wildfires force health care providers to make difficult decisions

A fire blazing in California

Photo: Bradley Bermont/SCNG

California's planned blackouts — a response to wildfires — have left health care providers to make difficult decisions and created scenarios that are likely to become only more common in the future, The Verge reports.

Case in point: Winters Healthcare, a community clinic based in Winters, Calif., recently faced the decision of whether to keep a refrigerator full of vaccines running or to keep its community's electronic health care records online — its backup generator couldn't do both.

What we're watching: California's power outages are likely to only become more frequent as the climate continues to change. Weather-related power outages are also on the rise due to extreme weather events.

  • "As a result, it's more critical than ever that health care facilities are prepared for a present and future where power isn’t a guarantee," The Verge's Nicole Wetsman writes.
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