While much of the sensationalist news around the recent deadly winter storm in Texas has been about unfortunate attempts to politicize it (spoiler – wind turbines weren’t the biggest problem, natural gas was), the more important story is really about the need to make our energy systems and buildings more resilient. And it’s not just Texas, which has been battered by numerous hurricanes over the past few years, where resilience is needed…it’s everywhere (remember the massive rainstorm in 2013 that caused power outages to around half-a-million customers?).
By now it’s well understood that climate change has an impact on extreme weather events which, in turn, can adversely impact the delivery of healthcare. This is why UHN’s Energy & Environment team has made resilience a cornerstone of the energy management projects it leads, from installing efficient LED lighting that will put less strain on our emergency generators during a blackout, to connection TGH and PMH to Enwave’s Deep Lake Water Cooling system, providing both hospitals with fully reliable and redundant cooling. We’ve also participated in developing the Canadian Coalition for Green Healthcare’s Health Care Facility Climate Change Resiliency Toolkit and helped share some of our experiences through the Coalition’s mentoring program. Because when it comes to resilience, we all need to be prepared.