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Power Sources


According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. electricity customer was without power for 250 minutes and experienced 1.3 outage in 2016. A power outage can disrupt medical services, close pharmacies, and create a life-threatening predicament for the over 2.5 million people who rely on electric-powered medical equipment. Prepare for a prolonged blackout with an emergency power plan and back up and alternative power sources for your cellphone, refrigerator, and medical equipment.

The Basics

  • A flashlight or head lamp
  • Extra batteries in standard sizes, such as AA and AAA
  • Hearing aid batteries
  • Car charger(s) and adapters for electric-dependent equipment and devices
  • Jump starter and/or jumper cables
  • A battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA weather radio with USB port(s)
  • A generator
  • Battery-powered smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors
  • Appliance thermometers for your refrigerator and freezer
  • A surge protector power strip(s)

Quick Tips

  • Pack flashlights or a battery-powered lantern for emergency lighting. Candles pose a fire hazard.
  • Create an Emergency Power Planning Checklist for your medical devices, including breathing machines, power wheelchairs and scooters, nebulizers, and oxygen or home dialysis equipment.
  • Read the user manual or contact the manufacturer to find out if your medical device is compatible with batteries or a generator.
  • Contact your local fire department, and power and water companies if you use electric-powered medical equipment. Some utility companies keep a “priority reconnection service” list of power-dependent customers.
  • If possible, buy manual alternatives for your electric devices that are portable, dependable, and durable. For example, a manual wheelchair, walker or cane as a backup for an electric scooter.
  • Fully charge your electronic devices, medical equipment, and back-up power sources if you know a disaster is coming.
  • Place plastic bags filled with water in the freezer to keep foods cold in a power outage. Drink the water when the ice melts.