We are inspired by a vision to enable patients with chronic conditions to remain engaged in life, with the peace of mind that we are caring for them.
These disruptions can result in evacuation or relocation from home and the need for assistance to ensure continued access to home medical equipment.
To help prepare you in the event of a medical emergency or disaster, we have compiled some general practices to help you keep your respiratory treatment on track. For our most recent announcements, please access our What's Happening page.
Have an emergency preparedness plan in place before the unexpected happens.
1. Know how you receive emergency alerts and warnings.
- Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are just one-way public safety officials can quickly and effectively alert the public to serious emergencies. As long as you have a WEA-capable device, you will automatically receive alerts. Check with your wireless carrier to ensure they participate in the program.
- Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that allows the government authorities to deliver important emergency information. Alerts are sent through broadcasters, satellite providers, and cable television and wireless cable systems.
- NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations that broadcast continuous weather information from the nearest national Weather Service office based on your physical location.
2. Know what your shelter plan is.
- Depending on the emergency, you may be required to stay at home, shelter in place at a given location, or go to a mass care shelter. To find an emergency center in your area, visit FEMA's Disaster Recovery Center Locator at https://egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/DRCLocator.
- You can also check your local counties website for their emergency management plans for evacuation and shelter-in-place guidance.
3. Know your evacuation route.
- Having a plan in place before an emergency occurs is vital to making sure that you can evacuate quickly and safely in any emergency situation.
4. Create a personal network
Create a personal network for areas in which you may need assistance and save the contact information in an accessible place. Information to have readily accessible includes:
- Lincare's local service center contact information.
- Pharmacy contact information.
- Physician contact information.
5. Get on a priority list for having your power restored in case of a power outage.
6. Plan to get to a health care facility should your health worsen.
That is why it is critical you are adequately prepared to face any unforeseen challenges. Having a safety plan in place and keeping extra supplies on hand can make all the difference when faced with an emergency. And be sure to keep friends and family in the loop relating your in-home therapy routine and travel schedule. They may be able to assist you in case something causes an interruption to your treatment.
Emergency Equipment and Supplies Kit
- Keep a list of all your medical equipment, including settings, type, model, and make of equipment.
- If you use a nebulizer, ask for an extra inhaler of the same medication that you can take in the event of a power outage.
- If you use an oxygen concentrator, ask Lincare for an emergency oxygen supply that does not require electricity (such as an emergency oxygen tank).
- If you use mechanical ventilation, have a home back-up plan in case of a power outage. This may include making advance plans for transportation to a medical facility.
- For more information on fully preparing for an emergency, visit: https://www.ready.gov/kit
When disaster strikes, you may be isolated for a certain period of time. At-home respiratory patients rely on their medical devices and supplies to keep their treatment running smoothly. During a natural disaster or other major crisis, it may not be possible to receive much-needed supplies for your equipment immediately.
Avoid being left stranded by keeping supplies you typically use close at hand so you can continue with your routine until delivery and other assistance are restored. In addition to having an emergency reserve of your supplies, it is also beneficial to keep other essential items such as medications, walking aids, and first-aid necessities handy.
- Make sure stairways and hallways are well-lit.
- Install grab bars in tubs, showers, and near toilets.
- Use non-skid mats in tubs and on bathroom floors.
- Ensure all stairways have handrails.
- If using oxygen, be careful when walking near tubing.
- Keep the National Poison Control Center number nearby: 800-222-1222
- Store any hazardous fluids and chemicals in a safe place.
- Ensure you have working carbon monoxide detectors in the home.
- Keep all medications out of reach of children.
Be Ready When Disaster Strikes
Natural disasters, such as floods, tornados, and inclement weather, each have their own sets of challenges, so you need to be prepared.
Floods: Flooding makes it difficult to evacuate and safely traverse roads, which can leave patients stranded and isolated. This can leave patients without the medical care and supplies they require. One proactive solution is to keep a portable emergency medicine pack, containing items such as daily medications and extra inhalers on hand until you can get outside assistance.
Tornados: Tornados often only last a few minutes but can leave long-term devastation in their wake. If you are in a situation where you need to take shelter in a basement or other safe spot, make sure the area is conducive to setting up your respiratory equipment.
Inclement Weather: From severe thunderstorms to snowstorms, the result of these powerful weather events is usually a loss of electricity. If you are left without power for a certain period, having backup oxygen supplies can keep your treatment from being interrupted.