National Preparedness Month: Power Outages

Image courtesy of FEMA.

Image courtesy of FEMA.

 

Its one week until National PrepareAthon! Day – are you ready?

Any time there is severe weather there is a chance of a power outage. Like any major disaster whether it’s a flood, hurricane, wildfire, etc., it’s always best to be prepared. Here are some tips from FEMA, the Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability, United States Department of Agriculture and Centers for Disease Control on how to prepare for power outages and what to do during and after power outages.

Before a power outage:

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, money and first aid supplies.
  • Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
  • Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
  • Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full. If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space or close to a home, as this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.

 

During a power outage:

  • Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • If it is hot outside and you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home since cool air falls. Drink plenty of water.
  • Only use generators away from your home and never run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system. Consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.

 

After a power outage:

  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees for two hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
  • Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medications having spoiled.
  • Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies.

 

Be Semper Paratus and make sure you and your family are prepared for any emergency!

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