Severe weather: Preparing for power outages

12:30 PM, Jul 26, 2012   |    comments
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 PDF Document: PowerOutage

Chance of severe weather brings power outage concerns so know what you should do to prepare.

Your first concerns should be:

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.

Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads will be congested.

If a power outage is 2 hours or less, you need not be concerned about losing your perishable foods.

But for prolonged power outages, though, there are steps you can take to minimize food loss and to keep all members of your household as comfortable as possible.

You can check out a complete list of what to do when a power outage occurs, including how to prepare an emergency kit, in our link.

Here are some tips:

To help preserve your food, keep the following supplies in your home:

  • 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 power outage.
  • 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.

Once a power outage occurs, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.

First use perishable food from the refrigerator. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4 hours. Then use food from the freezer.

A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.

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.

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