Prepare for power outages

Extended power outages may impact the whole community. Protect yourself by preparing in advance. Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity. Plan for batteries and other alternative power sources to meet your needs. Have flashlights for every household member. Burns candles for lighting, as a result extending the life of your batteries.

Solar energy can be expensive but, there are ways to save money going solar. If you lose power and refrigeration, you risk losing food. You don’t need a whole house solar system. Other options are available, such as portable solar generators. Charcoal grills and propane grills are great for cooking outside. Make sure to have plenty of charcoal and propane in case you need it. Help your neighbors, who might not be able to help themselves.

For less than a 100 dollars, you can get an indoor safe propane heater. Even if you live in a warmer climate. Recently artic air reached as far as the gulf coast. Texas was hit hard with power outages. People were trying to stay warm by running their cars in their garages and some actually died as a result.

Power Outage Tips

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
  • Use a generator, but ONLY outdoors and away from windows.
  • Do not use a gas stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.

Food Storage

Have enough nonperishable food and water. Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.

Using Appliances During Power Outages

Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home. Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home. Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary surges or spikes that can cause damage.

  • When in doubt, throw it out! Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
  • If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label says otherwise. Consult your doctor or pharmacist immediately for a new supply.