Bushfires and the Vulnerable

I read an article on the bushfires, one which gave me pause to think in a deeper way. Currently making the headlines are bushfires in New South Wales, Australia. Two people have died as well as the homes which have been destroyed… and more. California has fires too, and it was an article about those fires which broadened my understanding.

People lose homes, stock (animals) and equipment, but the article pointed out the long period of time without power. Food can spoil, shops lose their stock, the vulnerable – those who are dependent on electricity to run medical equipment can lose their lives.

Bushfires burn out power lines

Because I need to use oxygen 24/7 power outages are something I have to plan for. My home is registered as having life-support equipment, and I have a backup oxygen cylinder but it had not occurred to me what would happen in a bushfire situation. The backup cylinder would not last more than half a day.

Fortunately, a bushfire is unlikely where I live, although not impossible. But what about those people living where there are fires? If they are unable to make it to a hospital which has enough oxygen they will die.

“But the biggest fears were for the sick and older residents and those who rely on medical devices and equipment like electric wheelchairs.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/10/us/california-power-outage.html

firemen after a bushfire

Preparing high risk bushfire zones…

“Every year before bushfire season, our crews are hard at work preparing high and extreme bushfire risk zones to reduce the likelihood of a network-related spark that could cause a fire.
https://westernpower.com.au/safety/bushfire-safety/

However, it is not only residents in high risk zones who might be impacted by a power outage as the result of a bushfire. As the article says, some of the regional power lines are hundreds of kilometres long. So, if you, or a friend or relative needs electricity to power medical equipment, or a home oxygen machine an emergency plan needs to be in place before one is needed. Plan ahead.

  • Ambulances might be busy
  • The nearest hospital might not have power

Only the person who needs electricity for a medical reason knows how long he or she will ‘last,’ but might need help with the planning.

Something to think about,

Susan

P.S.

Living at the end of an Oxygen Tube has a new cover.

Check it out https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/living-at-the-end-of-an-oxygen-tube

And another P.S. so it will be a PPS

https://kcbsradio.radio.com/media/audio-channel/el-dorado-county-man-living-oxygen-dies-shortly-after-blackout

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