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Red Cross offering tips in case of power outage

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Posted at 3:09 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 18:09:43-04

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:

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.

DURING

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.

Food Safety

  • 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.

Electrical Equipment

  • 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.