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Sierra County News

Posted on: December 11, 2019

Check on your neighbors

Having a plan in place for a power outage can be a life-saving effort, especially for those who are dependent on electricity to operate their life-saving medical equipment. Individuals with this type of equipment, (i.e. oxygen, kidney machines, ventilators etc.) need electricity to operate their durable medical equipment, so having an emergency plan for these folks is essential. These individuals and their families should. In a community power outage there can be a flurry of emergency response calls requiring assistance. Included in this response could be electricity dependent medical devices but the goal, if able, is to keep these individuals and their families safely at home. People can do this by becoming more educated on how to extend the amount of time they can be independent. They can do this by having the following:

  • Back-up battery replacement (if their equipment has the capability)
  • Communicating with family, friends, neighbors to have an emergency plan on where to go or who will provide power for them
  • Keeping extra medications and prescriptions
  • Blankets and extra warm materials for dropping temperatures
  • Weather radio, extra AA, AAA, D12 batteries
  • First aid materials
  • Non-perishable food for at least 7 days
  • Potable water for at least 7 days
  • Calling 911 should be a last resort and only utilized in a true emergency.

Action Steps You Can Take:
1. Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
2. Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home.
3. Check on your neighbors. Older adults and young children are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures.


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