Recently a reader asked a question I wanted to answer more broadly and definitely publically. The topic was about how to deal with electrically powered medical equipment in an emergency. The actual question was for a specific type of equipment, but the answer is definitely broadly applicable.
There’s three major things to consider here, and while all three are quite important, there’s a distinct order that I’d use for getting preps in place for medical equipment.
For the purpose of this series we’ll use a CPAP machine, which is remarkably common, so I’m guessing you probably know someone who has one.
As with any prep that is targetted at electrical systems, you have three components. A power source, somewhere to store that power, and a way to make the power usable.
Now while so far we’re on track with most other power backup systems, for medical systems we have to change up the priority a bit.
Since you generally have to use a CPAP or other medical system during defined times, you can’t just take advantage of power when it’s available like you could with a AA battery charger or something. You have to store power for future use.
That said, storing power in a battery bank is no good without a way to convert that power to something that your equipment can use, so when everything is said and done, your first priority is power conversion, followed by power storage, and last, power generation.
In the next part of this series we’ll talk about power conversion, what’s important, what’s not, and what’s different for medical gear that may not be relevant for other applications.
Stay tuned for next time!