How to Prepare Your Home Medical Device In Case of a Power Outage

Author: Haley Hestekin

emergency prep checklist
Whether it's a hurricane or severe thunderstorm that knocks your power out, the effects it can have on your continued use of your home medical device, if not prepared properly, can be problematic.

Many of our devices, such as CPAP Machines, Home Ventilators, or Continuous Oxygen Monitors, require the use of electricity to be powered. Therefore, it is critical to prepare your home medical device to ensure it can continue providing treatment in case of a power outage.

First, you must understand the ins and outs of your home medical device. You must also understand the information needed to reorder and receive your supplies. Specifically:

  1. The type of device you have (if you are unsure of the details of your home medical device, visit our Durable Medical Equipment page to view all our devices. Each device links to a specific device detail page that will provide you specifics, tutorials and manufacturer information.)
  2. The model number of your device
  3. How you can purchase and reorder supplies
  4. Your primary care physician’s contact information
  5. Your medical power of attorney and their contact information
  6. Be sure to notify your equipment provider if you move to an alternate place to stay
  7. A copy of your prescription from your physician

Once you have gathered the specifics about your home medical device, start to consider how a power outage could affect the functioning of your device. Ask yourself:

  1. Would a power outage alter the way my device operates?
  2. Is there a back-up battery system for my device? If so, how long does the battery last?
  3. Is there an alternate power source that my device could use in order to operate?
  4. What would happen if my device fails? Could I be harmed?
  5. Does the user manual for my home medical device have any instructions related to power outages? What does it suggest?

In a situation of lack of power, typically you do not know how long the power outage will last. Therefore, it is important that you have extra supplies on hand to regulate your treatment until power is restored. Generally, keeping a couple of days worth of supplies in an easily accessible and safe location is recommended. Don’t forget to have extra cleaning supplies for your home medical device as well.

When it comes to emergency preparation, your treatment plan should not be put on the backburner. Have a plan so when a power outage occurs, you have the necessary supplies and resources to continue receiving the treatment you need.

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