Cold in Silverdale… BI Senior Center RocksJanuary 9th, 2011 by Sharon O'Hara
We gotta love the Bainbridge Island folks – again! Here they go…this time their seniors are looking out after the folks caught out in the cold during emergencies…and prompt the question: what happens to folks on oxygen or c-pap or bi-pap machines when the power goes out? (corrected)
Some folks have a concentrator hooked up to bleed into the bi-pap machine and supply oxygen to the machine that keeps the airway open.
What happens to well prepared, emergency trained folks when their power goes out? Some prepared folks have a generator they skipped a lot of evenings out to buy.
Our generator is geared to kick on five (thirty) seconds after the power dies…and it did. Trouble is, it stopped after ten minutes or so.
Without the generator, it didn’t matter that the heat pump didn’t work. We stopped caring that the technician scheduled to fix our heat pump hours earlier was stuck on BI and couldn’t get here.
It also didn’t matter that the propane company scheduled to deliver propane for our two tanks couldn’t negotiate the snowy, icy hills to get here…making the fact our propane fireplace insert didn’t work immaterial…we didn’t have enough propane to make it run.
For the first time I understood the saying, “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.”
The first night of a declining temperature, my husband, the Old Guy, worked out in the cold, freezing temperatures to fix the generator but first, he drove down to Sears in the big 4-wheel drive suv gas guzzler to get the part he needed.
He found Sears closed up early, then drove past the open Silverdale Firestone and lucked out. What were the odds Firestone would have the exact size tubing he needed? The clerk didn’t know but the owner not only found it, he gave it to him – no charge! THANK YOU, FIRESTONE!
The Old Guy worked on the generator until 1300 (1:00AM) the next morning without luck. At any time, we expected/hoped the power would return. With cable phone, it didn’t work either.
Between a Nordstrom wool hat and REI, LL Bean layered clothing we were okay for a while. I hoped to get the bi-pap and concentrator working before sleeping a second night without it.
The value of a down blanket cannot be underestimated. I went to bed cold but woke up warm. Getting out of that warm bed and dressed was a speedy process…both nights.
The temperature inside steadily dropped to a low 41 degrees and we began thinking of leaving with the dogs and the machines that helped supply a quality life – the bi-pap and concentrator.
I thought about the homeless. I wondered how other people right here in Kitsap County, who needed machines to live, managed without electricity?
What do we do for them?
Not everyone can get a generator.
Bainbridge Island Senior Center Folks – you rock!
“A group of Bainbridge seniors has urged the city to develop an overnight emergency shelter for years.
The Nov. 22, 2010, snowstorm served as a reminder of the need, but the seniors aren’t waiting around for the city this time.”
More later…. Sharon O’Hara
Happy 70th, Kentucky Girl!
Tags: Bainbridge Island, BiPap, cable, cold, Concentrator, cpap, dogs, electricty, emergency, fireplace insert, Firestone, generator, heat pump, homeless, Kitsap County, LL Bean, Nordstrom, phone, propane, REI, Sears, Senior Center, stove, suv