High winds, downed trees, power outages and flooding are the major concerns for Ohioans from Hurricane Sandy.
The American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland and First Energy want everyone to stay safe by being prepared for closed roads, downed trees and possible electrical power outages.
The Red Cross suggests you store at least three days of food, water and supplies in an easy-to-carry preparedness kit. Keep extra supplies on hand at home in case you cannot leave the affected area.
Most places have already sold out of gas-powered generators. If you already have one, you should operate it safely. Generators should only be operated in a well-ventilated area to avoid having carbon monoxide fumes from entering the house.
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For updated information on FirstEnergy's storm preparation efforts and current outages in your area, visit FirstEnergy's Outage map.
If you were planning on flying out to the East Coast or expecting visitors from the East Coast, all flights have been canceled.
Depending on the severity of the storm's impact on the electrical system, customers are encouraged to stay safe by preparing for the possibility of power outages lasting up to several days:
- If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and consider filling your bathtub with fresh water
- Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy. Use care when burning candles; open flames are a fire hazard.
- If power goes out, unplug appliances like refrigerators and freezers, and sensitive electronic equipment like TVs and computers, so that they won't overload when power is restored.
- Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person. Portable heaters and burning candles that are left unattended, especially around children and pets, can create a fire hazard.
- Gasoline or diesel-powered generators and appliances can produce deadly levels of carbon monoxide and should never be operated inside the home or garage.
- Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.
- Have a hard-wired phone or charged cellphone handy in the event you need to report your electricity is out. Mobile phones can be charged in your car when power is out. A smartphone can be used to access online information.
- Stay out of flooded basements, even if the power is off. Stay away from the breaker box if it's in a flooded basement.
- Always report downed wires immediately to your electric company or local police/fire department.
- Never go near a downed power line, even if they think it's no longer carrying electricity.