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MS Article or Multiple Sclerosis Article:

MS Disability: Dealing with

Electrical Power Outages

with Multiple Sclerosis 

MS disability: Having a disability is difficult enough to deal with, especially if it is because of the effects of Multiple Sclerosis on your body, but what can help when the power goes out and no electricity is available to help you to function for a period of time?

What do you do then, to help you to function?

In all honesty, the difficulties that you can have, when it comes to functioning with a disability because of the effects of Multiple Sclerosis depend on how severe your disability is and which symptoms of MS you are having a problem with.

If you are unable to walk or you walk with a walker, the problems that you can encounter when the lights go out can be very different, since if you need a wheelchair to get around you can carry a candle in a jar or a flashlight as you move around, but walking with a walker keeps your hands busy and makes it more difficult for you too see where you are going, since you can't carry a light in one hand very easily.

To make it easier to move from room to room, you can place a candle in a jar or a small lantern in each room to make it so that you don't have to carry a light around with you from room to room.

It is also more of a problem if you live with some else that can help you too, compared to if you live alone and don't have someone who lives nearby that can help you set things up to help you to make it easier for you to function when the power goes out.

It is a good idea to have some type of emergency planning set up before problems can occur when things happen like the power going out.

Arranged ahead of time for you to have someone available, who you can call in the case of an emergency, such as the power going out, who can help you to set up things so that it is easier for you to function as much as possible in spite of your MS disability.

I personally keep flashlights in most rooms in the house, in case the power goes out.  I also check the batteries off and on to make sure that the flashlights work, in case I need them.

Battery powered camping lanterns can be purchased ahead of time, along with the appropriate lantern batteries that are needed for them to operate when they to be used.

The batteries should be tested and replaced periodically, to you don't need to run to the store when they are needed in the case of an emergency.

If your stove or oven has electric stove top burners, you need a back up source, so that you can cook food, in the event that the power is out for few days. 

A propane gas-fed camp stove can be purchased and kept in a closet or some other part of the house (apartment, townhouse or where ever you live) that you are able to access, to that you can get to it when needed, if an emergency should arise.

If your stove or oven is operated using a gas source, it should operate, even in a power outage.  One thing that you need to keep in mind is that you most likely will need to keep a ignition source or pilot light igniter to light the pilot light for a gas stove, since the igniter is often an electric igniter that does not work when the power goes out.

As far as heat sources, I would suggest having a backup generator to run an infrared heater to heat the main rooms that you are in, since electric heaters draw too much power and can really run up your electric bill excessively for the amount of heat that electric heaters provide.

Infrared heaters are rated, based on the size of the space that you are using it to heat.  Although infrared heaters do cost a more to purchase, the amount of power that it draws is much less and it will not run up your electric bill very much, when compared to electric heaters.

The other consideration is that if a house, room or apartment that you are staying in becomes too cold from the power being out for more than a day, this will set you up for getting sick very easily, since this knocks down your immune system when your body gets too cold.

Multiple Sclerosis is already known for weakening the immune system and knocking down our immunity, so for us to get too cold, this can be more dangerous for us, than it would be for someone who has not been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

MS disability is also known for compromising our immune systems even further than if we were just diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but were not classified as physically disabled.

Reduced mobility because of Multiple Sclerosis, reduces circulation, which also reduces our body's ability to fight off infection, making us even more susceptible to infection, than we would be other wise.

The problem with a generator is that typically a person that is disabled is unable to set it up and/or get it going on their own and needs assistance in using it at all, even if you own a generator of your own.

Having some one that can take you some place that has heat is another option, if you are unable to make arrangements to set up and operate a generator for you to supply heat to where you are living.

Often, different municipalities, districts, townships or cities have some type of organization as far as who you can call when the power goes out when you are disabled and unable to do what is needed for yourself to help you to get assistance for you to be able to either be moved to a place with heat or to help you to set up some way to get heat into where you are living.

A list of emergency contact agencies should be kept in a place that allows you  to contact someone to assist you in the event of the power going out for any period of time that causes a problem for you because of your disability.

Don't wait until the last minute for arranging for what you will be able to do, in the event of the power going out, especially for an extended period of time, since your health can definitely depend on this.

Plan ahead and this can make all of the difference, in how well you can make it through the tough times that may appear as a result of the electrical power failing, especially if there is some type of storm, such as an electrical storm, a tornado, a hurricane or a snow storm that can knock out the electrical power by down trees, downing power lines, or causing any other electrical disturbance that disrupts electrical power to where you are living.

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2009. TamingMultipleSclerosis.com All Rights Reserved.