During the fires in Hawaii apparently back up pumping systems were not in place so as soon as the power went down water could not be refilled in order to fight the fires. Read about it here. (or in the Longmont Times-Call dated Oct 1)
The lack of backup power for critical pumps seriously hindered firefighting in Kula, county water director John Stufflebean told The Associated Press. Once the winds knocked out electricity, pumps were unable to push water up into tanks and reservoirs that were key to maintaining pressure.
“If all those (pumps) had had generators, I think there is a pretty good chance we could have kept up,” Stufflebean said.
This is the thing with government. It is meant to do these unsexy things like be prepared. I don't know what Hawaii or Kula was spending it's tax dollars on, but in Longmont, as mayor, this is a priority. And this is why it's important to ask Platte River Power to NOT close their coal fired Rawhide plant.
Backups are not dressed up in a performing arts center, but it is the purpose of municipal government.