Staying safe and comfortable during a power outage requires some planning. You should have an emergency kit with flashlights and plan where to go if you can’t stay home. During an outage, use only flashlights for light and keep your food fresh with extra ice. Turn off all appliances. When the power is back on, don’t touch power lines. If you’re uncertain whether or not some foods in your refrigerator are still good to eat, throw them away. Follow these tips to prepare for a power outage:
- Create a disaster preparedness kit. The flashlights and spare batteries in the kit are especially useful during a power outage. Portable chargers for your phone come in really handy, as well.
- Make sure you know how to manually open your electric garage door and where the lever is.
- For cooling or warming, learn about the emergency plans in your local area in advance.
- Consider investing in an electrical generator to supply your home with electricity during a power outage. Never use portable generators indoors, due to risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Don’t use candles for light, due to the extreme risk of fire. Use battery-operated devices that produce light, such as flashlights, or glow sticks.
- Unplug appliances to reduce the risk of power surges or spikes. Leave one light turned on so you know when the power is back on.
- Keep refrigerators closed. Normal refrigerators will keep your food fresh for about 4 hours. The freezer will last longer, about 48 hours, if it is full.
- Use food in this order: refrigerator > freezer > non-perishable (such as canned food).
- NEVER use appliances that can release carbon monoxide indoors. Use grills, stoves or any burning devices outdoors if you must cook. If it’s too cold in your home, dress in layers or go to a relative’s house, friends, hotel or other shelters. If it’s too warm, drink plenty of water and visit public places that have air conditioning.
- Stay away from downed power lines, as they pose a risk of electrocution after a power outage. Call an electrician to assess the electrical safety of your home, if necessary.
- Discard any spoiled food. If food that needs refrigeration has stayed in temperatures higher than 40° F for more than 2 hours, throw it out.
- Refreeze the food in the freezer that is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it.
Some power outages may last for only a few hours, but the safety risks they pose can be significant. Prepare now for any emergency. After experiencing fire, water or mold damage, contact PuroClean at your local office for professional remediation services.