Power outages can occur at any time of the year, during winter blizzards, spring rains, or summer thunderstorms. Here are a few steps you can take to prepare for a power outage:
It’s important to have a safe alternative light source on hand. Use flashlights instead of candles to prevent the risk of fire. Remember to keep an extra supply of batteries and check your flashlight regularly to make sure it will work when you need it.
You will not be able to use your TV or home computer without power. Obtain a portable radio for emergencies to keep you informed on weather and safety conditions during a storm. A portable radio can be easily stored when it is not needed.
Always keep your cellphone charged so you can make calls in the event of an emergency.
Food in your refrigerator or freezer can go bad depending on how long the power is out. Keep a supply of water and non-perishable food items (e.g., canned foods, granola bars) and remember to have a can opener on hand!
Keep a cooler and a supply of ice to help you save perishable food items and medications. (Note: During a power outage, keep refrigerator doors shut to help preserve food for a longer period. Move food to a cooler full of ice to keep it safe. If food in your refrigerator is over 40° F, do not eat it! If you are unsure if something is safe to consume, throw it away.)
Have a stocked emergency kit (e.g., bandages, pain reliever, antibiotic ointment) nearby. It’s also a good idea to have an extra supply of blankets.