There were recently hundreds of thousands of power outages throughout the state, and many people suffered the discomfort of being unable to shower, cook meals, log onto the computer, or watch TV. However, these situations are simple inconveniences. For thousands of Granite State residents a power outage is life threatening.
If you rely on life support systems you should have an emergency plan for times like these. First, you should contact your power company and let them know you are oxygen dependent. They may have a special program for life support customers. If you are enrolled in the program, your account will be noted, and if you notify the company of an electrical outage at your home, they will provide you with updates during the outage and will do their best to get your service restored.
The next component of the emergency plan should be to contact your oxygen provider and ask how much oxygen it needs to place in your home so oxygen flow is uninterrupted, even during an outage. This length of time is dependent on a number of factors, including how easy it is to get to your home with snow, ice, flooding, or downed trees on the roads. Also, check with the supplier for battery backups.
Have your provider set up one or more large compressed oxygen cylinders in your home for emergencies. Know how long the cylinders last. Do not be alone if at all possible. When the concentrator stops, someone else will need to switch you over to emergency oxygen. Make sure that person is trained and knows what to do.
If you live in a remote location that is not easily accessible, you should consider purchasing or installing a generator.
Have the following handy at all times, fresh and fully charged batteries; a battery powered radio; a cell phone or telephone that does not need to be plugged into an electrical outlet to work; and one or two flashlights. Make sure you have emergency phone number handy for doctor, fire, police and ambulance services.
If you do live alone, arrange for a family member, neighbor, or friend to check in on you. Also, plan for an alternative place to go until your power is restored.