A public service announcement

 - 
01/15/2009

An in-depth story published by The Associated Press calls attention to the vulnerability of people who rely on medical equipment like oxygen concentrators during power outages. The story points out that few states are equipped to identify people at risk. As a result, emergency planners are often unable to provide these people with the help they need to survive an outage due to a hurricane, ice storm, etc. In some cases, that has meant death.

In a nice piece of positive PR, the story does recognize the important role homecare providers play during power outages:

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When it comes to oxygen, many home health care companies "bend over backward" to race tanks to customers during power outages, noted Washington's Rubinson. In fact, after Hurricane Katrina, the American Association for Home Care asked the government to designate oxygen providers as "first responders" for easier movement in disaster zones. 100 million BC download

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But the story points out more needs to be done. For example: Registries of power-dependent people need to be set up in each state.

How can providers work with state authorities to better coordinate care for power-dependent people? It seems like they would be natural resources for states looking to formalize assistance to these people.

Liz Beaulieu