The power is out and you’re on oxygen – what now?

PIE&G’s goal is to keep your power on without interruptions but necessary repairs and inclement weather affect our ability to do so.  When the power goes off and you’re on oxygen or have other medical need that require electricity, what should you do?

Given the unpredictability of Mother Nature and unforeseen events, no utility can guarantee continuous electric service at all times.  During power outages, utilities generally restore circuits affecting the largest number of members first before moving on to repair individual services on smaller circuits.  Thus, the order in which repairs can be safely completed depends on various factors, including cause and extent of the problem, weather conditions, estimated time to repair, availability of crews and equipment, number of services affected, duration and numbers of outages, and where a service is physically located on the distribution system.

If you have a serious medical condition that requires electric powered equipment, we recommend that before the power goes out, you consults with your physician to insure that you have an emergency plan in place to be prepared at all times.  Alternatives include having battery packs or a gas or diesel powered generator available.  You may need to temporarily relocate to a friend’s or family member’s home that has electricity, or contact the Red Cross of 911 in an emergency.

If you require electricity for medical equipment, be prepared in advance with a backup plan BEFORE the power goes out.

Medical Emergencies

If you or a household member has a life threatening medical emergency, disconnection of service may be postponed for a period of 21 days with appropriate documentation.  Your physician must provide a certificate to PIE&G that identifies all of the following:

  1. the medical emergency or condition,
  2. any medical or life support equipment being used, and
  3. the specific time period during which shut off would be immediately life-threatening.

After 21 days, your physician must provide a new certificate.