Friday, August 26


I was watching Fox News early last evening and news anchor Shepard Smith advised viewers of imminent power outages in the greater Los Angeles area of southern California and how Southern California Edison was beginning a series of hour-long black-outs, rotating through a number of communities, to alleviate a power grid transmission emergency due to hot temperatures and soaring demands for electricity.

The Associated Press (AP) has this account today.

I immediately called my parents who live in an eastern suburb of Los Angeles County and alerted my father that their electricity might go out for 30 minutes to an hour. I did this as my father is on 24/7 oxygen because of a serious lung disease and while he's indoors in his home, he uses an electrically-driven oxygen concentrator and I wasn't sure if his oxygen supply were to be abruptly cut off that he could make it out to the garage where he keeps an inventory of oxygen cylinders.

Well, he hadn't been watching television, so he was unaware of the rolling black-out. And, he told me he apreciated the call, because he hadn't any idea of whether or not, absent oxygen flowing through his nasal cannula, that he could make it to the garage and hook up to a tank. So, armed with the information, he told me he'd fetch his shoulder-slung portable tank and keep it near him in the house until the threat of an electrical outage had passed.

I tell you all this because most of us hear about, read about, or even suffer through a power outage, and the worst we endure is a lack of air conditioning and television, and, if it occurs in the evening, the need to light some candles.

But for some people, particularly the elderly and the seriously ill, a power outage can bring on a crisis.

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