• Create a plan for alternative sources of power.
• Read equipment instructions and talk to equipment suppliers about your backup power options.
• Get advice from your power company regarding type of backup power you plan to use.
• Regularly check backup or alternative power equipment to ensure it will function during an emergency.
• Teach many people to use your backup systems and operate your equipment.
• Keep a list of alternate power providers.
• Ask your nearby police and fire departments and hospital if you could use them as a backup for your equipment power if your backup systems fail.
• Label all equipment with your name, address, and phone number.
• Attach simple and clear instruction cards to equipment and laminate them for added strength.
• Keep copies of lists of serial and model numbers of devices, as well as important use instructions in a waterproof container in your emergency supply kits.
Life-Support Device Users
• Contact your power and water companies about your needs for life-support devices (home dialysis, suction, breathing, machines, etc.) in advance of a disaster.
• Many utility companies keep a “priority reconnection service” list and map of the locations of power-dependent customers for use in an emergency.
• Contact the customer service department of your utility companies to learn if this service is available.
• Let your fire department know that you are dependent on life-support devices.
• All ventilator users should keep a resuscitation bag handy. The bag delivers air through a mask when squeezed.
• If you receive dialysis or other medical treatments, ask your provider for the plans in an emergency and where you should go for treatment if your site is not available after an emergency.
• Check with your provider to determine if you can use a reduced flow rate in an emergency to extend the life of the system.
• Record on your equipment the reduced flow numbers so that you can easily refer to them. • Be aware of oxygen safety practices:
• Avoid areas where there are gas leaks or open flames.
• Post "Oxygen in Use" signs.