Report Number




Disaster Planning; Disaster Relief; Photovoltaics


The National Hurricane Center tracks the path of a hurricane to determine where it will make landfall. People in harm's way are informed of its approach and the need to evaluate options to prevent injury and protect lives. One of the many groups of people at high risk is those with special needs. They have health conditions that require special care. Before a disaster, these individuals live in hospitals, care facilities and homes. During and following a disaster, many would be moved, along with their supplies, equipment and a caretaker, to a special needs shelter. Others would stay with relatives or friends until notified they could return home.

The energy requirements of special needs people are as different as their health conditions. In most cases, electricity is critical to their survival, whether in a shelter or home. One person may have a heart condition requiring only medicine, while others rely on various machines that require hundreds of watts of power. Ideally, these individuals would consider the advantages of creating disaster-resistant houses. A safe, reliable alternative to a gasoline or diesel generator is a photovoltaic (PV solar electric) system. The power system should be utility-interactive with battery back-up to ensure continuous operation to power critical equipment. The homes of special needs people are excellent candidates for modification to include PV as a critical power supply. With this type of advance planning, a special needs person would have an excellent chance of staying at home in the event of a power outage. Implemented collectively, disaster resistant homes with a renewable energy source would reduce shelter efforts,emotional stress and recovery costs.

Date Published



Presented at ISES/Solar World Congress 2005, CT4. PV Technologies, Systems, and Applications C. Stand-alone and Grid-connected PV Systems, Orlando, Florida USA

Local Subjects

Disaster Planning; Disaster Relief; Photovoltaics


FSEC Energy Research Center® Collection



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