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December 15, 2020   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

Nor'Easter No Match for Diesel Power

Diesel power plays a critical role in protecting public health and safety during critical weather events. Diesel stands ready to work to help the East Coast keep running as heavy snow is forecasted.

Over 45 million people are under a winter storm watch as heavy snow takes aim at the East Coast and is expected to produce abundant amounts of snow. Local, state and federal governments, emergency responders and businesses are moving into emergency response mode relying on some of the most powerful and reliable and proven technology available today. Diesel power plays a critical role in protecting public health and safety during critical weather events.

Diesel snow-removal equipment keeps the roads clear to keep critical services in operation during light snows and blizzard conditions. Diesel-powered salt spreaders, road graders, wheel loaders and snow plows are working overtime to clear roadways and put down chemical treatments to keep roads safe and from freezing. Massive diesel snow plows will extract the snow from roadways and the tallest drifts. In the cities, mobile diesel-powered snow melting units are increasingly becoming the technology of choice to help cities deal with a high volume of snow and limited space.

Clean diesel generators provide reliable, immediate and full strength electric power when primary power supply systems fail during storms or other natural disasters. Standby power is critical at hospitals, blood banks, nursing homes and other health care facilities. Hospitals need to have reliable and self-contained power systems in the event of loss of grid power from ice accumulation or downed electrical wires. Emergency responders – fire and rescue units – rely primarily on diesel power for their response apparatus, ambulances and for powering their emergency communication systems.

Communications plays a vital role in our world today, especially with the reliance on cellular and smartphone technology. Text messages, tweets, emails and calls still flow through a system that requires reliable and uninterrupted electrical power. Diesel-powered generators play an essential role in the internet and this increasingly connected world. Computer ‘server farms’ handle huge volumes of data for essential financial services, ATM networks and national commerce and trading centers. Even momentary losses of grid power can result not only in inconveniences, but damaging losses of business revenue, the inability to access bank funds, and lost worker productivity. At the nation’s busiest airports, diesel power is working to keep travelers safe both in the air and on the ground. Radar and telecommunications systems have their own backup power systems and the majority depends on diesel emergency generators to restore critical electrical power during storm-related power interruptions.

Diesel generators also provide backup power for food refrigeration, air conditioning, drinking water systems, sewage treatment, building operations and security systems. With a deluge of snow and rain, local governments need to make sure that public safety systems are operational, from the 911 emergency call centers to drinking water treatment and sewer systems. These vital services must remain fully functional under all weather conditions, including power outages. Diesel powered pumping systems - both portable and fixed - are in place in thousands of cities throughout the country to prevent flooding, and to keep drinking water treatment systems providing safe drinking water when the electrical power goes out.

Diesel power plays a critical role in protecting public health and safety during critical weather events. Because of its unique combination of power, performance, reliability and availability, no other technology or fuel can meet the full range of needs in responding to national weather emergencies. Diesel stands ready to work to help the Northeast keep running during this pre-Christmas snow storm.


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Allen Schaeffer
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