by Charles Ornstein,
It is a hospital's nightmare: The power goes out and backup generators don't kick in, leaving critically ill patients without the mechanical help they need to breathe.
It happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, when hospital staff were on their own when electricity and water cut out. Some died.
It happened last year in San Diego, when generators at two hospitals failed during a blackout.
And it happened last year in Connecticut, when a hospital had to be evacuated during Hurricane Irene when its generator failed.