One of the many tragic things to happen in New Orleans was that all of
the hospitals lost power. Here in Houston during Tropical Storm Allison
something similar happened. There were alot (though, thank God, by no
means all of them) of hospitals that completely lost power due to
flooding - though (thank God) by no means all of them.
Why not put the emergency generators in hospitals above the flood line?
And why not have a breaker in to cut power to areas below the flood
line? This way, even when the building floods, emergency power can stay
on - and in a hospital this means that life-support, dialysis machines,
and defibrillators will still work.
I've seen projects where chillers, boilers, and cooling towers were
installed on a mezzanine 40' above street level. But the emergency
generator and fuel tanks are below the flood line! WHY?
A related idea. Old fashioned cisterns on hospital roofs - during
normal use they help the water pressure. During loss of power they
provide a limited supply of potable water.
The idea in both cases is to keep the life-saving devices running and
potable water available long enough for the building to be evacuated -