Power Outage Tips
Source: Red Cross
Monitor alerts. Check local weather reports and any notifications. by phone, television or radio. Utility officials may come to your door to alert you of a planned power outage. If available, sign up for local alerts and warning systems to notify you through a call or text to your phone.
Contact your support network. Let people in your network know that you are OK, check to see if they’re OK, and tell each other if you need help.
Keep food cold and when in doubt, throw it out. Eat your fresh, perishable foods first. Avoid opening your refrigerator and freezer to preserve cool temperatures. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Measure the food temperature in your refrigerator and freezer with a thermometer. Throw out food that has been warmer than 40 degrees F.
Prevent power overloads and fire hazards. Unplug appliances and electronics to avoid power overloads or damage from power surges. Use flashlights, not candles. Turn off the utilities only if you suspect damage or if local officials instruct you to do so. Your gas line can only be turned on by a qualified professional. If any circuit breakers have been tripped, contact an electrician to inspect them before turning them on.
Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Don’t use a gas stove to heat your home and do not use outdoor stoves indoors for heating or cooking. If using a generator, keep it outside in a well-ventilated area away from windows.
Decide if you need to stay or go. Evacuate if your home is too hot or too cold, or if you have medical devices that need power. Communities often provide warming or cooling centers and power charging stations.