“It is a great asset for us to be able to educate our Patients and provide them with the information that they would need if an emergency were to occur”

Angela Tresso, Home Health Solutions by The Medicine Shoppe


(Home Medical Equipment Companies)

As case managers of patients who utilize electricity-operated medical equipment, it is important to help them be better prepared for extensive power outages. Talking with patients about power outage preparedness enhances your credibility as case managers by protecting the health of your patients and reducing the crisis and drama that emerges during prolonged power outages.

Free, easy-to-use B.R.E.A.T.H.E. preparedness resources are now available to you AND for you to share with your patients, making it easy to guide patients through the planning process. A good place to start your review is with the B.R.E.A.T.H.E. resources listed for “Individuals,” which will give you the foundation needed to continue reviewing in the HMEC resource section.
View Resources

What is B.R.E.A.T.H.E. ?

Be Proactive – Act Now!
  • Don’t wait for an emergency or disaster to happen! Act now on the following suggestions.
  • Call your local power company to explore whether they have a medical equipment registry.
Reserve Medical Supplies
  • Keep extra medical equipment/medical supplies (and keep old equipment when getting upgrades) for use in an emergency. Use items periodically and replace if/when needed, ensuring usability.
Establish a Support Team
  • Find dependable people (family, friends, co-workers, etc.), in and out of your immediate area, who can help you in an emergency, when necessary. Having out-of-area supports are important in case those closest to you also become impacted by the emergency situation/disaster.
Alternative Power Sources
  • It is vital to have back-up power options in place for your equipment in emergency situations.
  • Read your medical equipment manual, particularly about alternative power sources. Get a generator to power your equipment and have properly installed by a certified electrician/ professional or get support team members with generators.
Talk With Your Home Medical Equipment Provider and Make Plans
Ask your home medical equipment provider about their plans to assist you in emergencies, including short and long-term power outages. Examples of important provider information are:
  • Primary and secondary person to call during and/or after an emergency/disaster
  • Business phone numbers after business hours emergency numbers)
  • After hours emergency phone number
  • Out-of-area emergency call center number if local provider is unavailable
  • Who to call or where to go for treatment if provider is not available after a disaster
  • Any other important information
Home Emergency Supply Kit
  • Compile and store at least 3 day’s (or more) worth of emergency supplies, e.g., food, water, first aid kit, and include your medical equipment supplies, medication, etc. Visit: http://www.ready.gov to learn more about creating an emergency preparedness kit!
Emergency Communication
  • Have a back-up plan for emergency communication. During disasters/emergencies, some communication systems may work when others fail. The more systems (email, cell phone, two-way radios, etc.) you have available, the more likely you will be able to contact other people.
  • If you have texting capability, it has been documented in some disasters that people were able to get messages through via texting while phone systems were overrun with calls.
  • Another inexpensive back-up plan is to have people from your support team automatically contact you in person, if possible, when communication systems are down.
“Patients appreciate having the resources at hand. Excellent provision of useful resources.”

Tom Liebenrood

“The BREATHE planning magnet (worksheet) is helpful not only as a preparedness tool, but a practical way for patients to document the medical equipment they use and contact information listing us as their HMEC provider.”

Brittany Roberts
Family Home Medical Health Care & Supplies