Disaster Preparedness

Power Outage Preparedness: Tips for Winter Weather

Power outages, particularly during extreme cold or winter weather, pose significant challenges. Here’s a concise guide, based on recommendations from ready.gov, to prepare you and your family:

1. Plan for Neighbors
Develop a plan to check on neighbors, especially those vulnerable like the elderly or disabled, during extreme weather. A solid communication plan is key.

2. Involve Kids
Educate children on emergency preparedness for power outages. They can help with tasks like checking flashlight batteries, collecting blankets and stocking up on non-perishable food.

3. Save Cell Phone Battery
Dim your cell phone screen’s brightness to conserve battery life during outages.

4. General Tips
– Keep freezers and refrigerators closed to preserve food.
– Use generators only outdoors and away from windows to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
– Avoid using gas stoves for heating to prevent fire risks.
– Unplug appliances to protect against electrical surges.
– Plan for alternative power sources for essential medical devices.

5. Food and Medication Safety
Store food and medications safely. A fridge keeps food cold for about 4 hours, a full freezer for 48 hours. Discard food above 40 degrees for over two hours. Consult your healthcare provider(s) about medication storage during outages.

6. Generator Safety
Operate generators outdoors only, far from windows. Be sure to have a carbon monoxide detector installed (with a battery backup). Let generators cool before refueling and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions.

7. Post-Outage Actions
After power restoration, check food and medications. Discard anything suspect to avoid contamination.

Effective preparation and knowledge are vital for dealing with power outages. By following these streamlined tips, your family can stay safe and minimize the outage’s impact. Preparation before winter weather is crucial.

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