Being prepared for an emergency is a good idea for anyone, but for those living with COPD, it is absolutely critical. Take proper precautions and prepare yourself for the worst (but hope for the best). Don’t wait to do this. Do it now! Here are a few tips:
Talk To Your Doc
Have your doctor help you make an emergency plan. This could include reducing oxygen flow during an emergency which can help buy time and extend the life of your battery.
Inform Power Company of Your Condition
Many power companies offer those requiring oxygen therapy priority service. They may even supply a generator if the power they’re supplying goes out. It is important to understand and set arrangements in place before there’s an emergency.
Reach Out to Your Oxygen Supply Company
Ask your oxygen supply company what items they suggest you stock up on in the event of an emergency. They may think of things you have overlooked.
Talk to Local Authorities
If your emergency plan should fail, it’s a good idea to have these people (police, firemen, etc.) on your side as a backup plan.
Make a Plan
Make a plan with your household, nearby family or friends,
neighbors, co-workers, or anyone else you feel comfortable with. Establishing a support team that you can call on for help in an emergency can help you feel safe and connected. Consider making arrangements on a different place to stay if your power is out or another issue is keeping you from getting oxygen. Reviewing and practicing your emergency plan can help you feel prepared in the event of an emergency.
Back Up on Your Necessities
Consider an Emergency Generator
Whether you install it yourself or have it professionally done, it might be a good idea to have a backup electricity source. Especially if your home is in the middle of nowhere. A generator may cost you, but the benefits, security, and safety it gives you may be worth it.
Purchase Extra Supplies
It’s wise to keep an extra of all your oxygen supplies, even if they aren’t used for an emergency, but for everyday use. Keep extra fully charged batteries, nasal cannulas, tubing and connectors, filters, and any other supplies you use regularly. You don’t want to end up in a bind where you are unable to order or replace these items - emergency or not!
Put Together an Emergency Kit
Keep yourself ready in any situation and have your bare essentials for three or more days ready in one, convenient place. This includes food, toiletries, food, clothes, and anything else you deem necessary.
Know Your Stuff
Know How to Operate
Make sure you know how to use any and all emergency supplies. If you have a generator, make sure you know how to use it. If you have another method of oxygen therapy (concentrators that run on batteries, tanks, etc.), make sure you know how they work and what settings you’ll be using.
Important Phone Numbers
It is a good idea to memorize important phone numbers or keep them handy. Your doctor’s, oxygen supply stores, power company’s, and anyone else’s you feel you might need to know numbers should be included. Consider adding them to your emergency preparedness kit.
Understand Your Plan
To reiterate, it is very important to know and fully understand your emergency plan and any suggestions your doctor makes. Write it down and keep it in your emergency kit, if you want to be extra safe.