Assemblyman Goldfeder urges customers on life-supporting machines to register for LIPA’s Critical Care Program

June 18, 2012
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway) is urging those who depend on electricity to power life-supporting equipment in their homes to register with the Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) Critical Care Program so that they are prepared should they lose power this hurricane season.

“Losing power is an inconvenience for anyone,” said Assemblyman Goldfeder. “But for those who depend on life-supporting equipment to stay alive, losing power because of a catastrophic hurricane like last year’s Irene, or something as minor as a scheduled power outage, can be the difference between life and death. LIPA’s Critical Care program is vital for anyone who depends on equipment powered by electricity to stay alive.”

Customers enrolled in the program will receive advanced notice of scheduled outages and severe weather that may cause power outages. Having this advance knowledge will allow participants to make preparations should they lose power. Also, in the event of a power outage, LIPA will make every effort to restore power to these participants as quickly as possible.

Participants should note, though, that there may be certain circumstances where it is very difficult for LIPA to restore power quickly. The Critical Care program doesn’t guarantee priority restoration of services and no matter what, it is the participant’s responsibility to develop a plan that will ensure their medical needs are taken care of in the event of a power outage.

Devices that meet the medical criteria for life-support equipment include: apnea monitors; curraise respirators; positive pressure respirators; suction machines; IV feeding machines; tank type respirators; respirator/ventilators; hemodialysis machines; rocking bed respirators; oxygen concentrators and IV medical infusion machines

“Everyone should have an emergency preparedness plan, especially after last year’s major power outages that occurred when Hurricane Irene hit our community,” said Assemblyman Goldfeder. “I urge those who depend on electricity for life-supporting equipment to include participating in LIPA’s Critical Care Program as part of their plan, and to enroll as soon as possible.”

To enroll, customers must provide LIPA with a medical certificate from a doctor or the local Board of Health. Once a customer is approved, their account and meter will be tagged as “critical care.”

For more information about LIPA’s Critical Care Program, or if you have questions or concerns about any community issue, call Assemblyman Goldfeder at 718-945-9550 or goldfederp@assembly.state.ny.us.