By: Sam Pudelski, American Red Cross Volunteer
We all know weather in Ohio is unpredictable. While it seems spring has finally sprung, just a few short weeks ago heavy rain and winds tore through Northern Ohio. According to American Red Cross reports, the morning after the storm, approximately 70,000 power outages were reported across the Region.
When there is a power outage, we hope it is a temporary inconvenience. But sometimes outages can last hours, if not days. It’s important to have a plan in place so when outages occur, you and your household members have what you need and know how to stay safe.
The Red Cross has put together some tips for how to help you do just that:
- Create a support network by identifying people who can help you stay at home or evacuate during an extended power outage. Keep a paper copy of your contact list.
- Stay connected and alert by signing up for alert systems and apps for text alerts. Make sure you have communication devices that you can use when the power goes out, like a crank or battery radio, non-corded home phone, battery chargers/batteries for cell phones.
- Stock food and water that is non-perishable, and plan to use coolers and ice to extend food refrigeration when the power is out for an extended period. Make sure to stock two weeks of non-perishable food and thermometers to monitor perishable food temperatures.
- Know and plan for your personal and medical needs that rely on electricity. Take inventory of your electrical needs, and consider both backup and non-power alternatives for lighting, communication, medical devices, medicine, cooking, garage doors, locks and elevators.
- Plan for your pets by making sure you have enough food and water for them, too.
- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Make sure smoke alarms with battery backups are on every floor and outside sleeping areas. Make sure you have one carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home.
- Use current surge protectors on household electronics to keep them safe in case of a power surge.
- Plan how to decide to stay or go in the event of a power outage. Discuss how you will safely evacuate to maintain needs such as power-dependent medical devices.
Download the free Red Cross emergency app
The app allows you to monitor conditions in your area and prepare your household in the event of an outage or other disaster. Additionally, you can check on loved ones to make sure they are safe and let them know you are safe. You can download the app on the Apple Store or Google Play, or you can text GETEMERGENCY to 90999.
While we all hope power outages or disasters will not strike, preparing can help you and your loved ones have a little more peace of mind in the event you are affected by one.
Edited By: Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross Volunteer