Warm weather brings power outage
With the heat comes power surges, which can bring the potential for power outages. We’re familiar with the suggestions to limit the use of electrical appliance’s during peak hours. However, what can you do to prepare for an outage? Here are a few things to keep in mind before, during, and even after a power outage to keep you and your family safe.
The lights are out. Where is the flashlight? You know you have it somewhere. Is it in the emergency kit? Where is the emergency kit located? Having a preparedness kit is one thing, but keeping it in a location that is easy to access, especially in the dark, and keeping it stocked is another. Here are just a few suggestions that will help you be prepared for a power outage:
- Regularly restock your emergency kit with flashlights, batteries and first aid supplies.
- Have alternative charging methods available for your phones or electronic devices. Go to https://www.ready.gov/get-tech-ready for more information.
- Know where the electrical box is located to re-set the power if needed.
- If you have an automatic garage door, know where the manual release lever is and how to operate it.
- If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent, like a medical device, devise a back-up plan.
In California, we have become accustomed to rolling power outages. Some can last just a few minutes but others can last many hours. These outages can become a cause for concern when it comes to our refrigerated food. Here are a few things to keep in mind when faced with a prolonged power outage:
- An unopened fridge will keep food cold for about 4 hours. An unopened freezer will keep food at a safe temperature for about 48 hours.
- If it's hot outside, look for a place that is spacious and has sufficient air conditioning such as the mall, movie theater or other local business that is open to the public.
- If you have a two-story home, move to the lowest level, drink plenty of water and wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fit clothing.
- Turn-off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power surge that can damage your devices, especially if you do not have them plugged into any surge protectors.
- Only use generators placed a safe distance away from your residence. Never run a generator inside the home or garage and do not connect it to your homes electrical system.
- Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 F (4 C) or higher for 2 hours or more or that has an odor, unusual color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out.
- If the food in the freezer is colder than 40 F and has ice crystals on it, you can safely refreeze it.
- Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries and any other supplies that were used.
For more helpful information check out the full list on https://www.ready.gov/power-outage.