Power Sources


On average, people experience about four hours of power loss each year. Power outages caused by a large-scale disaster can last much longer and—as a result—can become life threatening for people who depend on home use medical devicesexternal icon. Be prepared to be without electricity for a few days with emergency lighting, safe heating alternatives, and backup power sources for your cellphone, refrigerator (if possible), and medical equipment.

  • Emergency lighting, such as a flashlight, head lamp, or battery-powered lantern
  • Extra batteries in common sizes, such as AA and AAA
  • Hearing aid batteries
  • A generator with at least 20 feet of extension cord(s) rated for outdoor use and enough fuel to keep it running.
  • Car charger(s), power banks, and adapters for home use equipment and devices
  • A battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA weather radio with USB port(s)
  • Battery-powered or -backup smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors
  • Appliance thermometers for your refrigerator and freezer
  • A surge protector power strip(s)
  • Warm clothes, blankets, sleeping bags, and emergency (or space) blankets to keep you warm in cold temperatures
  • Be ready to go if asked to evacuate by local authorities. Keep your car prepared with a car charger, road maps, jumper cables, and at least a half a tank of gas.
  • Create an emergency power plan, including model and serial numbers, for your medical devices, such as pacemakers, pumps, and monitors.
  • Read the user manual or contact the manufacturer to find out if your medical device is compatible with batteries or a generator.
  • Keep appliance thermometers in the refrigerator and freezer at all times. When the power is out, an appliance thermometer will always indicate the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer no matter how long the power has been out.
  • Contact your local fire department and utility companies if you rely on an electricity-powered, home use medical device. Some electricity providers 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 cellphone, battery-powered medical devices, and back-up power sources if you know a disaster, such as a hurricane, 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.
Page last reviewed: April 13, 2020, 03:05 PM