The Dallas County Emergency Management office encourages anyone who uses electric medical devices or assistive technology to create a plan in case your power goes out during an ice storm, or other disaster.

This equipment includes oxygen, respirators, ventilators, suction, home dialysis, power wheelchairs and scooters.

A lifesaving key is to be familiar with your equipment and how to troubleshoot it. Regularly check the backup power source on your equipment, and teach your neighbors and caregivers how to use the backup system.

Keep copies of instructions, along with model and serial numbers in the same waterproof container you store other emergency items such as copies of your ID and medical information. If you need to evacuate, you can quickly grab everything.

A second important step is to notify local law enforcement and EMS about your health condition and the equipment you need.

Third, notify your power company that you are energy-dependent so they can list your home as a priority to reconnect during a power failure.

Once power is restored, check the settings on your medical devices to make sure they didn’t go back to the default mode. This is where being familiar with your equipment comes in handy.