New map shows 18,000 in C. Fla. need power for life-saving medical devices
There are more than 100,000 Floridians who depend on power to keep life-saving medical devices running, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
HHS unveiled the interactive map late Tuesday. Nationwide, 1.6 million Medicare patients need power for medical devices.
Locally, nearly 18,000 in Central Florida need power to keep ventilators, oxygen machines and other medical equipment running. A prolonged power outage can mean death for these Medicare enrollees, HHS officials said.
The map can be used for planning and to prioritize power restoration during an outage. In a crisis, addresses can be released to emergency workers to facilitate evacuations.
Tim Trudell, spokesman for the Orlando Utilities Commission, said the utility currently focuses getting power back to critical infrastructure, like hospitals and fire stations. Then they focus on areas with dense populations.
Florida also has a special needs registry where patients can register for a special assistance in an emergency. See below for the breakdown by county: