That you are able to log onto this blog and read this article is a testament to the reliability of the company that supplies your electricity. Unfortunately, stormy weather can knock out power, as it did Tuesday night for some 20,000 First Energy customers.
And as sweltering as the summer of 2016 has been, the demand for power has been great. Sometimes, electrical equipment can be overloaded with so many air conditioners running. That, too can cause power outages. While outages aren’t always predictable, it’s easy to be prepared and keep your loved ones safe during one.
HAVE A KIT
The top items in your power outage kit should include water, a battery powered radio, flashlights, and extra batteries. It is important not to use candles during a power outage because they a more likely to start a fire. Other items include:
- Medications (7-day supply) and required medical items
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Non-cordless telephone
- Full tank of gas
For more information on building a kit, check out our 72-hour kit blog post.
Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Use perishable food from the refrigerator first, freezer items second and non-perishable food last. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours and a freezer half-full will stay cold for 24 hours.
Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including appliances, equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. It is important to do this because when the power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment. You can protect appliances that can’t be unplugged, like refrigerators and freezers, with a surge protector.
CAUTION: CARBON MONOXIDE KILLS
Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside an enclosed area. Cooking in enclosed areas with alternate sources for electricity can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire. These tips below will help you prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Always locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms in your to provide early warning of any accumulating carbon monoxide.
- If you hear the carbon monoxide alarm sound, move to a fresh air outdoors or an open window or door. Call for help from that location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.
For more information on what to do during a power outage please visit http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/power-outage.
Get more information on surviving during this summer’s relentless heat here. And download the Red Cross Emergency App, to monitor more than 35 different severe weather an emergency alerts, to help keep you and your family safe this summer and throughout the year.