Power outages and other disruptions caused by storms and natural disasters, while an inconvenience for most Americans, can pose life-threatening challenges for medically complex families. Whether it be a thunderstorm, hurricane, tornado, or snowstorm, natural events have the potential to disrupt the power grid and other vital systems, impacting thousands of people.
Although very little action can be taken to minimize the impacts of such weather-related events, there are a number of actions you can take in advance to prepare.
For example, electric suppliers often have a list of homes labeled as “critical” when the power goes out. Actions as simple as filling out a form and or supplying a note from your child’s doctor may allow you to be placed on this list prioritizing your home’s return to normal operations as soon as possible.
The following list references the authorities you may consider notifying:
In preparation for a power outage, consider making a “go bag” to ensure you have vital supplies at your fingertips in the case of an emergency. It’s wise to always keep two weeks of extra supplies on hand in the event you’re not able to receive shipments or visit your local supplier. From medications to extra formula, having extra supplies will give you peace of mind and may save you from being forced to use products that don’t work for your child.
“Go bags” may include:
In addition to medical supplies, many medically complex families elect to invest in a generator to keep the power running for the duration of the outage. This solution, although ideal in medical terms, may not be possible due to cost or other restrictions. When a generator is not available, consider compact battery packs to charge devices, heating/cooling blankets to account for drastic temperature changes, and sufficient battery-powered lights to illuminate your child’s room.
Here are medical devices you should consider accounting for during a power outage:
To be prepared for an emergency situation that requires you to get to the hospital quickly, relocate, or flee, it’s important to keep a full tank of gas in your vehicle. Either that, or have extra gasoline available. However, always store extra gasoline outdoors in a separate structure like a shed, barn, or unattached garage.
The more you know, the better you can prepare. Start small and make your own “go bag” and expand to larger steps like obtaining a supply of battery packs or a generator if you can afford one. While natural disasters are always accompanied by a level of unavoidable uncertainty, taking action now can help put your mind at ease.