Yad Sarah Rolls Out Nationwide Emergency Oxygen Protocol as Precautionary Safeguard against Strike on Israel’s Power Grid

The nationwide system will provide initial live-saving aid for individuals requiring ongoing oxygen support in the event of widespread electrical outages due to an escalation in hostilities

Jerusalem, February 22, 2024 –  Yad Sarah, the leading nongovernmental healthcare and social services organization in Israel, today announced that it has begun rolling out plans for a nationwide emergency respiratory protocol to safeguard against wartime crises. The comprehensive plan aims to provide life-saving proactive and real-time aid to those in need of oxygen support in the event that an escalation in current hostilities results in the collapse of Israel’s electrical grid. The precautionary measures come at the request of Israel’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.

Amid rising concerns over a full-scale war between Hezbollah and Israel looms the threat of strikes that could take down the power grid. Such a scenario could reportedly lead to frequent blackouts across up to 60% of the country. Should extended power failures occur, traditional oxygen concentrators that can typically only run for a limited time without electricity would be susceptible to inoperation, thereby endangering the significant number of individuals with breathing problems.

In response, Yad Sarah has formulated a systemic solution for the thousands of Israelis who need at-home oxygen treatments. The initiative is underpinned by a comprehensive logistics framework designed to make the lives of those in need of respiratory support easier.

The volunteer-led precautionary initiative includes:

  • The immediate distribution through Yad Sarah branches of oxygen cylinders and portable oxygen concentrators that can operate without electricity
  • Enlisting a network of “host” households with backup generators, which the organization can match to individuals requiring power for oxygen devices during an emergency
  • Registering individuals to Yad Sarah’s database for real-time updates about available oxygen power sources during an emergency
  • Preparing Yad Sarah facilities to serve as an “oxygen station” – secure locations equipped with backup generators that would serve as a temporary shelter, offering power connections and oxygen devices to individuals who need respiratory support
  • Yad Sarah branches and hospitality units across the country are bolstering emergency inventories of portable oxygen concentrators and oxygen cylinders that do not need to be connected to electricity.
  • Appealing to those with unnecessary oxygen concentrators to donate them to the nearest Yad Sarah branch to bolster emergency supply

With Jerusalem recognized as the city with the largest demand for oxygen concentrators, Yad Sarah’s “Yirmiyahu33” Wellness Hotel is already equipped to serve as a central oxygen station. The facility has the capacity to accommodate hundreds of people, providing them with electrical outlets and respiratory aid equipment. The organization’s nearby headquarters and adjoining hospitality units are also prepared to convert their facilities if needed.

In addition to Jerusalem, Yad Sarah is preparing oxygen stations in Be’er Sheva, Rishon Lezion, Ra’anana, Haifa and Netanya through close coordination with government ministries, HMOs, local authorities and community organizations.

“For nearly 50 years, Yad Sarah has championed and continues to advance the notion of at-home hospitalization for optimal recovery, mainly through the provision of advanced equipment and customized medical technologies,” said Yad Sarah Founder and President, Rabbi Uri Lupolianski, who has taken it upon himself to personally lead this emergency initiative. “Thousands of people with difficulty breathing already receive respiratory support from Yad Sarah’s oxygen system and supplementary equipment. We are steadfast in our commitment to helping them, acting in every way possible to protect their lives in the face of any scenario and even in the event of an emergency.”

Having ramped up its activity amid wartime, Yad Sarah distributed a full year’s-worth of medical equipment loans within just three months, leading to a depletion of its emergency inventory. In response, the organization has swiftly taken action to procure and airlift critical items, including thousands of portable oxygen concentrators.

From Israel, call the Yad Sarah Hotline at *6444 for more information.


About Yad Sarah

Yad Sarah, the leading volunteer-staffed organization in Israel, provides a vital array of compassionate health and home care services for people of all ages.

Founded in 1976, Yad Sarah has 126 branches throughout Israel staffed by more than 7,000 volunteers. Although the organization is best known for its extensive lending service for medical equipment, its volunteers also drive its wheelchair-accessible vans, reach out to the homebound, advocate for the elderly at risk for abuse, provide in-home geriatric dental care, staff its play center, and more. Nearly every family in Israel has been impacted or helped by Yad Sarah. Yad Sarah saves Israel’s healthcare system over NIS 5.5 billion ($1.5 billion USD) each year through its home hospitalization equipment lending services.

To support the organization’s ongoing efforts and learn more about its initiatives, visit yadsarah.org

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