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September 09, 2016   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

A Trusted Partner in Storm Preparedness Proves its Worth During Hurricane Hermine

Stationary and mobile diesel generators were called into action when Hurricane Hermine struck Florida on September 1-2, 2016. Thanks to the fleet of standby generators, the City of Valdosta was able to keep its drinking water, sewage treatment facility and stormwater pumping stations in operation, protecting public health and safety in the process.


While Hurricane Hermine was only a Category 1 storm, she still did quite a bit of destruction to Florida.  In fact, Hermine was the first Hurricane to make land fall in Florida since 2005. Thankfully, over the past 11 years, Floridians have been preparing for the worst and those preparations frequently include the investment in an emergency standby source of power. 

Stationary and mobile diesel generators were called into action when Hurricane Hermine struck Florida on September 1-2, 2016. Thanks to the fleet of standby generators, the City of Valdosta was able to keep its drinking water, sewage treatment facility and stormwater pumping stations in operation, protecting public health and safety in the process. While several nursing homes in the St. Petersburg area went without full grid power for four days, a fleet of standby generators kept lifesaving equipment operating and climate control systems functioning.

Between 2010 and 2014, there have been 44 weather events across the country that have cost over $1 billion in damage. Between 2003 and 2012, the White House Council of Economic Advisors estimate that power outages have cost the U.S. economy between $16 and $33 billion in lost business activity. Keeping the lights on during and after severe weather events not only saves lives, but also lessens the adverse impact of severe weather events and potential power outages.

 

For decades, stationary and mobile diesel standby generators have proved their value during these events. Diesel remains a technology of choice as it is the only technology to provide full electrical load within ten seconds of grid failure and diesel fuel is widely available. For these reasons, diesel generators are frequently seen on roof tops of large buildings, as well as data centers, water and sewage facilities, fueling stations, communication centers, and other mission-critical facilities. Thanks to many unique features of diesel mobile and stationary generators, and even energy-dense and widely available diesel fuel, the diesel platform is a technology of choice to provide mission critical power when the grid goes down.

While a named Hurricane has not struck Florida since 2005, residents and businesses in the Sunshine State hopefully used the respite in severe weather events to make the investment in these critical standby units or the necessary electrical switchgears to accept a mobile generator. Florida has naturally been a leader in preparation and planning for weather-related disasters, being one of the first states to require motor fuel retailers to install standby generator capabilities. Beginning in 2007, retail locations in Florida have been required to install these capabilities to keep motorists on evacuation routes and allow first responders to refuel. These investments in stationary and mobile diesel generators proved their worth during the recent Hurricane.

 


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Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy
efinkin@dieselforum.org
301-668-7230

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