Electricity Emergency Preparedness

Power outages aren’t very common, but when they do happen, do you know what to do? Knowing what you are up against is a big step toward being prepared.

If there is a power outage, there are some things you need to consider:

>Do you live alone?
>Do you drive or own a car?
>Do you have any limitations? (Mobility, hearing, vision, communication)
>Are you reliant on any medical equipment or assistive technologies?
>Are you reliant upon a caregiver?

Plan what you would do if you had to get through 72 hours without electricity.

Have a personal support network set up ahead of time. Friends, family, neighbors that can assist you.

Call your local emergency management office and ask what plans they have that can assist you. Ask for a list of contacts and numbers of nearby health care facilities and keep these numbers close by.

Gather medical information and documents for easy access. Prepare medical alert tags to wear during an emergency. Outline your needs, this is in case you get moved to a facility so people can see to your medical needs. Prepare a list of all medication you may be taking. Include the best way to communicate with you.

Have a supply of water ready. Use empty milk jugs and refill with water. Every so often replace with fresh water. 

Next create a kit. Battery operated flashlights and lanterns. Extra batteries, or solar chargers that you can recharge and use each day. Keep ice packs in the freezer that you can put in an ice chest to store your medicines in. Set aside some extra money, clothing and blankets that you can take. And don’t forget to prepare emergency kits for your pets or service animals. They will most likely need vaccination records in order to be in an emergency shelter.

Prepare extra battery packs or have a generator that will sustain you equipment for the next 72 hours. If you have a hearing disability, prepare a TTY (or text telephone) and check that you have extra batteries for your hearing aids. Prepare communication cards so your support network or first responders can communicate with you. If you are visually impaired make sure you label your supplies with Braille or large print. If you use an electric wheelchair, make sure you have a manual back up for an alternative. And always keep your gas tank full!

A little planning can go a long way to making sure you stay comfortable and safe during a power outage.