As extreme weather hits our area, power outages become a concern.
A power outage can disrupt communications, water and transportation, close businesses, cause food spoilage and prevent the use of medical devices.
First, make sure to check your energy company's outage map and report your outage.
In the case of downed wires, it’s especially important to inform the company of the issue, as damaged lines could pose a fire or safety hazard.
These are some tips from Ready.gov that you can consider when your power goes out unexpectedly.
- Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer.
- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home.
- Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment or electronics. Power may return with momentary surges or spikes that can cause damage.
- Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
- If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling
- Be a good neighbor. Check on your neighbors. Older adults and young children are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures.
Here are tips to prepare for the possibility of a power outage:
- Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
- Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
- Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
- Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water and blankets.
- Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and car and generator gas tanks full.