When an outage occurs, our crews are working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible – but with over 35,000 members, it can take some time to have everyone restored, especially during a significant weather event. Even with a medical note on your Nolin account, we cannot promise uninterrupted power. Additionally, as we follow the restoration process, others may receive power before you do.
Don’t let an unexpected event like an extended power outage become a life-threatening situation. Oxygen dependency requires planning for emergencies.
Here are six things you can do:
- Complete an emergency power planning checklist. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers a checklist (go to: https://www.fda.gov/media/80782/download) that will help you establish a plan, note emergency phone numbers and organize medical device information.
- Charge batteries. If your oxygen concentrator runs on battery power, always have a supply of fresh and fully charged batteries that can get you through at least a few days. If you don’t normally use batteries and are unaware of how long your equipment can run on them, contact your medical supplier for this information.
Also, don’t forget to investigate alternative ways to charge batteries. One option is using a USB adapter to charge batteries via a car.
- Secure an alternative power source. Consider buying an emergency generator or uninterruptible power supply, especially if you live in a remote location. Some home generators turn on automatically while some need to be switched on manually. Know how to safely use the generator you choose.
- Keep extra supplies. If extreme weather is forecasted,have your medical supply provider set up one or more large compressed oxygen cylinders (and know how to use it) in case you need to switch to an oxygen delivery method that doesn’t require electricity.
- Investigate conservation options. Ask your doctor if you can safely set equipment to reduce flow to conserve the oxygen supply and extend the battery life of the system.
- Be ready to move. Identify people who can get to you quickly to move you and your equipment to a place where you can use your oxygen, be it their home or a local facility.
Plan for transport by understanding what you need to take with you when you travel with oxygen, and having written information on how to set up your oxygen device. Keep in mind that there is a chance that you may feel sick and possibly unable to do things yourself and/or communicate with healthcare providers in an emergency situation.
Being prepared in the event of an emergency can help keep you or a loved one safe.