September is National Preparedness Month. In this edition, we will look at things to prepare for during a Power Outage.
- Take an inventory now of the items you need that rely on electricity. Make backup plans, including relocation plans, if you have medical equipment or assistive technology devices that are dependent on power for life-sustaining purposes.
- Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
- Install battery-powered smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in central locations on every floor of your home and outside of bedrooms. Electric detectors with battery backup are also acceptable.
- Keep mobile phones and any battery-powered devices charged, and make sure you have backup charging methods such as a car charger.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full. If you use your car to charge devices, do not leave the car running in a garage, partly closed space, or near a home to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- During a power outage, only use flashlights for lighting. Avoid using candles, as they could be a fire hazard.
- Review your household power outage supplies. Ensure you have at least one flashlight with extra batteries per household member and a ready supply of nonperishable food and water.
- Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment to protect them from quick power surges. Whenever possible, use surge protectors.
- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home. Follow manufacturer instructions.
- Check on your neighbors. Older adults and young children are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures.
- Keep perishable food cold to avoid illness. Keep a thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer to monitor the temperature. When in doubt, throw it out! Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.
- If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that should be refrigerated unless the drug’s label says otherwise.
Information supplied by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Ready.gov