Department of Human Services

Disability SA Bulletin 91 - Supporting people who rely on breathing apparatus

January 2016 - Steps to plan and prepare for power outages so that people relying on breathing apparatus are safe.

Interrupted power supply can be life threatening for people who rely on supportive breathing apparatus, such as:

  • CPAP machines
  • VPAP machines
  • „BIPAP machines, or
  • any other ventilator device.

If you are providing support to a client who uses a supportive breathing apparatus of any type, please ensure that:

  • an emergency plan is in place
  • any back-up systems are regularly checked to ensure they are in good working order.

If a power outage occurs

You must immediately attend to the client to ensure their safety if a power outage occurs when you are present.

Preparing formal care plans with clients

Clients who rely on supportive breathing apparatus should have formal care plans in place so that support staff are aware of their requirements in the event of a power outage.

When preparing a formal care plan with a client, please provide them with a copy of the SA Power Networks fact sheet 'Electricity and your life support system' from the SA Power Network Life Support page.

It would be beneficial to have a copy of Disability SA clients' plans provided to Disability SA (with the client's consent).

Preparing for a power outage

SA Power Networks suggests the following steps be considered to prepare for a power outage:

  • Make sure any medical equipment that needs power has battery back-up or a generator
  • Know the location of your nearest hospital
  • Keep your mobile phone, tablet or laptop computer charged, so you can stay in touch
  • Have a battery-operated radio on hand with fresh batteries
  • Listen to the radio during extreme weather to keep up with the latest weather conditions
  • Keep emergency phone numbers handy – for your doctor, fire department, police and ambulance services
  • Always have a phone available that will work without mains power, remembering that cordless phones don't work during power outages
  • Be fully prepared to leave your home if an extended outage occurs.

Register with SA Power Networks

If you are providing support to someone who uses supportive breathing apparatus or a life support system, you are requested to ensure that they (or their support team/agency) are registered with SA Power Networks to receive timely, accurate information about power at their property.

Contact: Michelle Hosking

Phone: +618 8207 0490

Email:

Page last updated : 15 Apr 2018

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