The American Red Cross is issuing tips for power outage preparedness, safety and resources for you.
Being prepared may not prevent a disaster or emergency, but it can give a family confidence to meet the challenges ahead.
The Red Cross saying you should be sure you're Red Cross Ready. That means:
- Assembling an emergency preparedness kit [u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net].
- Creating a household evacuation plan [u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net] that includes your pets.
- Staying informed about your community’s risk and response plans.
- Download the Emergency App for iPhone [u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net] or for Android [u7061146.ct.sendgrid.net].
To keep your food from spoiling during a power outage, keep on hand:
- One or more coolers—inexpensive styrofoam coolers work well.
- Ice—Surrounding your food with ice in a cooler or in the refrigerator will keep food colder for a longer period of time during a prolonged blackout.
- A digital quick-response thermometer— With these thermometers you can quickly check the internal temperatures of food to ensure they are cold enough to use safely.
Typically, if a power outage is 2 hours or less, don’t be concerned about losing your perishable foods. If you have a generator, install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. This will provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
Staying Safe Indoors
- Use flash lights in the dark, not candles.
- Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights could be out and cause road congestion
- If you are using a generator be sure you understand the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to use generators safely.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.
- First use perishable food from the refrigerator. Perishables should have a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) or below to be safe to eat. Then use food from the freezer.
- Use your non-perishable foods and staples after using food from the refrigerator and freezer.
- If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
- Keep food in a dry, cool spot and keep it covered at all times.
- Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.
- Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.
- Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.