Originally published on Encouraging Angels. -NCS

I am writing this as I sit here at home laid up with ‘the crud’. When I feel as bad as I do the defenses I normally have up come down a bit and I think back to when my wife, my son and I took care of my daughter at an ICU level of care for 8 1/2 years by ourselves, in our home. Along the way we laid the groundwork for the 4 US Patents that I co-own for the metabolic work we did to save and extend her life almost 5 years (my daughter was afflicted with a catastrophic childhood illness; for more info please watch the trailer to our documentary). We also learned a bit about preparedness.

One time we had a power outage that lasted probably the better part of a day. For anyone else that power outage would have been a temporary inconvenience. For my daughter it was a life threatening situation. You see Hannah had to be regularly suctioned during the day to keep her saliva from building up and choking her (because of her disease she lost the ability to swallow and was fed by a ‘G-tube’). We did not have any kind of battery backup to run the suction machine. So we had to improvise an infant nasal suction bulb connected to suction tubing to remove the saliva. Needless to say but when you take care of someone with ‘special’ needs there are times you had better be quick on your feet. After going through that experience, let me tell you-it is better to be prepared.

The world, especially right now, is not a safe place. The is not the same amount of food on the stores that there was just a year ago. People unwilling to take the jab are being let go left and right.

If you run a ‘disabled’, ‘MR’ or ‘special needs’ household you have a lot of responsibility. Few people outside of the disability community understand the level of commitment that you have to keep things going for someone else who can -never- contribute to the household through chores, a job or in some cases, to provide joy doing the things that children and young adults would normally do.

So as the caregiver you have to think about who you care for in a unique way. Today, I would like you, the caregiver to consider being able to provide services when there is no electricity.

Based on my experience, there are a couple things that are really important to be able to provide electricity for.

1) Suction Machine

2) Pulse-Ox

3) Oxygen concentrator

4) Being able to charge an electric wheelchair

Now, some things like an electric suction machine or an electric pulse-ox will draw less power than trying to run an oxygen concentrator or charging a wheel chair.

Today’s power bank should have the capability of charging USB (A and C type) and standard wall plug(s).
The brilliant thing about having the appropriate size power bank is to also get a appropriate sized solar panel to charge the bank. That way you do not have to rely on having fuel for a generator. As long as you have sunshine you can generate at least some power.

Therefore, with the equipment you have what I might consider is calling a couple of the power bank companies and ask them given the equipment you have to run in the advent of a grid down event or just a long term power outage-what is the size of the power bank I need and what is the best solar panel for me?

Two (of many) companies in the power bank space are Goal Zero and Jackery. They have both been around for years and have a good reputation.

I will leave it to you to do your homework with these (or other) companies in this space.

The thing to recognize is that we are moving into a time period that is the most uncertain in our lifetime. Power outages are a reality. We could be in a world situation where war could happen in just 90 days. What would happen if you can’t run an oxygen concentrator and the person you are taking care of -needs it-? Please consider acting now to find out what you can do to mitigate this problem. What you actually need may be slightly outside of your current ability to buy. You might need to host a spaghetti dinner, a raffle (if it’s legal where you live). You are going to have to creative to prepare for your special loved one. If you don’t do it, dear caregiver, who will?

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Stan Szymanski (or Encouraging Angels) is not a medical doctor. This is not medical advice. In all matters pertaining to the health and care of a human being consult a medical doctor. This is not legal, financial or personal advice. Consult appropriate professionals in those fields for that type of advice.