LIHUE — The Federal Emergency Management Agency will fund $4 million for a crucial generator upgrade project for Wilcox Medical Center.
The Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant will ensure that Kauai’s primary medical facility, Kauai’s only Level III trauma center, is able to provide patients with lifesaving power during and after disasters.
“The application was prepared jointly by Wilcox Medical Center and HI-EMA and submitted to FEMA in January 2018,” said Thomas Travis, administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA). “HI-EMA is the sponsor for the project because Wilcox Medical Center is not eligible to apply directly to FEMA, and this generator upgrade was evaluated as a high priority by both the County of Kauai Emergency Management Agency and HI-EMA.”
He said this project is a concrete example that the state and counties are pursuing projects to protect and secure critical facilities such as hospitals. Travis added that these types of mitigation actions are all documented in the state Hazard Mitigation Plan and the county All Hazard Mitigation Plans as top-priority projects.
The $12.3 million project will include $4 million from FEMA, with the balance paid by Wilcox Medical Center.
The project encompasses two, 30-year old, 500-kilowatt generators that could not be upgraded, and will be replaced with two, 1,000-kilowatt-diesel generators with new fuel tanks, automatic transfer switches and switch gear sets.
This will increase the medical center’s power capacity and provide cost-effective, uninterrupted power to support both critical and routine hospital operations in the event of a disaster.
The 72-bed hospital offers preventive care and emergency services to more than 72,000 residents and thousands of tourists each year.
Source: The Garden Island