Be ready for a power outage
Given the more frequent nature of extreme weather and storms, you will likely encounter a power outage on at least one occasion in your life. Sometimes it takes days or even weeks to get the power back up, depending on how severe the damage is to your electrical grid. This can result in a disruption of communications, water and transportation; the closing of businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, and banks; cause food or medication spoilage or water contamination; and prevent the use of medical devices.
Do you know what to do during an outage or how to prepare now for one?
Here is how to protect yourself during an outage:
-Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
-Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
-Do not use a gas stove to heat your home.
-Disconnect appliances/electronics to avoid shocks from electrical surges.
-Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
-If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling.
-Check on neighbours.
Here is how to prepare now:
-Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity. Seek out alternatives (like solar powered phone chargers, etc.)
-Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices and refrigerated medicines.
-Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
-Buy batteries/battery operated devices that can meet your needs when the power goes out.
-Sign up for local alerts/warning systems from your local weather service.
-Install carbon monoxide detectors in central locations on every level of your home.
-Determine if your home phone will work in a power outage.
-Review the supplies that you may need in a power outage. Have candles and flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Check out Red Cross emergency kit for ideas.
-Buy and store enough nonperishable food/water to last 5 days for all family members.
-Use a thermometer in the fridge/freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is back.
-Write down the phone numbers of loved ones or others you may need to contact in an emergency.