Emergency Safety

Impacted by a power shut-off or fire?

At IEHP, we care about your health and safety when there is a power shutoff or fire. We want to ensure you get the needed care and services to help you during these events. If you are impacted by these events and need help with your durable medical equipment (such as wheelchairs, ventilators, oxygen monitors, etc.) call IEHP Member Services at 1-800-440-IEHP (4347), Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. TTY users should call 1-800-718-IEHP (4347). If you need a medicine refill, go to your pharmacy and request a refill. For medical advice after-hours, please call the IEHP 24-Hour Nurse Advice Line at 1-888-244-IEHP (4347) or 711 (TTY).

How to prepare for an emergency?

Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) alerts

A Public Safety Power Shutoff, also called a PSPS, occurs in response to severe weather. Power is turned off to help prevent wildfire and keep communities safe. We encourage you to sign up for alerts so you know when a Public Safety Power Shutoff may occur and when your power is restored. 

Click here to sign up

Medicine safety

Some medicines may need to be stored in a refrigerator to keep their strength, including many liquid medicines. When the power is out for a day or more, throw away any medicines that should be refrigerated, unless the medicines label says otherwise. If a life depends on the refrigerated medicines (for example, insulin), use them only until a new supply is available. Replace all refrigerated medicines as soon as you can.


Durable medical equipment safety

Use the checklist below to prepare for a power outage.

  • Check your backup power equipment frequently to ensure it will function during an emergency.
  • Call your power and water companies about your needs for life-support devices (home dialysis, suction, breathing machines, etc.) in advance of a disaster. Many utility companies keep a “priority reconnection service” list and map of the locations of power-dependent customers for use in an emergency. Ask the customer service department of your utility companies if this service is available.
  • Keep the shut-off switch for oxygen equipment near you so you can get to it quickly in case of emergency.
  • Generator users should operate generators in open areas to ensure good air circulation.
  • Test generators once a month and take your generator to be serviced at least once a year, to make sure it will work when needed.
  • Create a plan for how to recharge batteries when the power is out. Reference resources below.
  • When power is restored, make sure the settings on your medical device have not changed.

Emergency Power Planning for a Durable Medical Equipment Checklist (PDF): this booklet helps you establish a plan to obtain and organize your medical device information. 
How to Prepare for and Handle Power Outages for Medical Devices that Require Electricity - FDA
Emergency Power Planning for People Who Use Electricity and Battery Dependent Assistive Technology and Medical Devices: this checklist will help you create a plan for your electric and battery-dependent devices.

Mental health

If you have been impacted by a fire and need mental health, related to stress or grief, call IEHP Member Services at 1-800-440-IEHP (4347), Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. TTY users should call 1-800-718-IEHP (4347). For medical advice after-hours, please call the IEHP 24-Hour Nurse Advice Line at 1-888-244-IEHP (4347) or 711 (TTY).

Additional Tips

  • Build or restock your emergency supply kit, including food, water, flashlights, a radio, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash. Click here to find local resources that help you build an emergency supply kit. 
  • Identify backup charging methods for phones such as a battery power pack, a car charger and solar battery charger.
  • Learn how to manually open your garage door. Create a plan based off what you can do by yourself and what you will need help with. 
  • Create an emergency contact list. 
  • If you own a backup generator, ensure it is ready to safely operate.
  • Create an emergency action plan that includes evacuation planning for your home, family and pets.

https://www.sce.com/wildfire: how to safely prepare for wildfires.
https://www.sce.com/wildfire/psps: Power Safety Power Shutoff resources.
https://prepareforpowerdown.com/: how to prepare for a power shutoff.
http://www.jik.com: emergency preparedness information prepared by Jule Kiles.
https://www.readyforwildfire.org/prepare-for-wildfire/get-set/: how to prepare for a wildfire.
Emergency Supplies Kits for People with Disabilities and Activity Limitations: checklist suggests emergency kit contents, including no cost supplies that you can tailor to your needs and abilities. 
Emergency Evacuation Preparedness: Taking Responsibility For Your Safety, A Guide For People with Disabilities and Other Activity Limitation: how to develop plans that integrate people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. 
Emergency Health Information: Savvy Health Care Consumer Series: a guide to develop your emergency health information.
Emergency Travel Safety Tips for Overnight Stays: a guide for people with disabilities. 
Tips for Emergency Use of Mobile Devices: preparing your device for an emergency.