Power outages can occur at any time of year and often happen as a result of spring storms. Follow these before, during and after the outage tips so you can be prepared and safe if you find yourself unexpectedly in the dark.
Make a list of important contacts so you can check on loved ones and including your local utility in order to report the outage and be informed of status updates.
Inventory all of the items in your home that rely on electricity and keep cell phones and smart devices charged as often as possible. You may want to consider investing in a small generator if you have life-saving or other critical devices that don’t have battery powered backup.
Talk to your doctor about the dangers of not having power and creating a plan for handling medications that must be refrigerated or medical devices that require power.
Stock up on flashlights, portable heat and cooling sources, blankets, batteries and other alternative power sources.
Keep a supply of non-perishable food and bottled water secured for emergency use.
Sign up for local weather alerts on your phone or device.
Install battery powered carbon monoxide and smoke detectors on all levels of your home.
Decide on a meeting spot in your home and make sure all family members know where it is so flashlights can be dispersed, and everyone accounted for.
Notify your local utility of the power outage and monitor status updates with your wireless smart device. If you have selected an energy supplier, such as AEP Energy, you will still need to contact your utility to report an outage as they maintain and repair power lines and equipment.
Check on loved ones and neighbors, especially the elderly and those who are most vulnerable to extreme heat or cold.
Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cool for about four hours and a full freezer can remain at freezing temperature for up to two days if left unopen.
Don’t use generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills inside your home or garage to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and do not attempt to heat your home with a gas range or oven.
Unplug or turn off appliances and devices to avoid power surges when the electricity does come back on.
Go to a public building or community center if the temperature is extreme.
Discard any refrigerated food that has an odd color or texture, smells funny or “bad”, or has been exposed to temperatures higher than 40 degrees for more than two hours.
Talk to your physician about the safety of any refrigerated medications if the power was out for over 24 hours as they may need to be disposed of and replaced.
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