TABLE 8.1 Examples of Critical Social Services That Depend on the Availability of Electric Power


Service Category Specific Service Typical Existing Backup Resulting Vulnerabilities

Emergency Services 911 and related dispatch centers Most have comprehensive backup power systems. Fuel supply and reliability could be an issue in long outages. See classified version.
Police headquarters and station houses Varies. Some stations do not have backup. AC power is often required for recharging hand-held radios. See classified version.
Fire protection services Same as above. See classified version.
Emergency medical services Same as above. See classified version.
Hazardous materials response teams Same as above. See classified version.
Medical services Ambulance and other medical transport services Limited. See classified version.
Life-critical in-hospital care (such as emergency rooms, life support systems, operating rooms) Full backup in most major facilities, but some failed during the blackout of August 14, 2003. Some systems have inadequate testing procedures. Fuel supply and reliability could be an issue in long outages. See classified version.
Less-critical in-hospital services (refrigeration, heating and cooling, sanitation, etc.) Availability of backup varies. Many smaller facilities lack backup. See classified version.
Clinics and pharmacies Many have no backup. See classified version.
Nursing homes Same as above. See classified version.
Communications and cyber services Radio broadcast media Major stations have backup systems with several days of fuel on hand. See classified version.
Television broadcast media Many stations have backup power systems with several days of fuel. See classified version.
Cable television and broadband services Minimal backup.
Conventional telephone Conventional phone systems have backup power systems that can power switches and conventional phones. However, many modern head-sets and PBX systems require power to operate and do not have backup. See classified version.
Wireless (cellular) telephone and data systems Modest backup. Battery backup typically provides only 2-8 hours of service. See classified version.
Wired data service Many backbone systems have backup. Most local systems do not.
Computer services (on and off premise) Many large data centers typically have good backups with several days of fuel on hand and priority fuel contracts. On-site typically limited to several minutes. See classified version.
Water and sewer Water supply Limited backup. Most systems require pumping in treatment plants. Many systems also require pumping for delivery. See classified version.
Sewer systems Very limited backup. Many systems require pumps for collection. Most require power for treatment.


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