Power Outage Preparations
Given tomorrows forecast for a potentially huge snowfall along with gusty winds, it is relatively safe to assume that the power may be interrupted in the Blue Mountain Lake community. Following are some preparation and safety tips:
- Have extra batteries and a car charger for your mobile devices. This will allow you to stay up to date on news reports and use your phone to stay in touch with friends and family. If you use your car to charge your devices, make sure it is in a well-ventilated place.
- Keep a physical list of emergency, family, and work contacts. In case your phone battery dies, you could find a landline to check on friends and loved ones.
- Know the location of flashlights and a radio. Make sure these things are easy to access in case of power loss, and that you have extra batteries to keep them running.
- Conserve your cell phone battery. Reduce the brightness of your screen, place your phone in airplane mode and close unused apps that draw power.
- Subscribe to text alert services from government officials. These will keep you aware of the current situation.
- Prevent overloaded circuits. Switch off all unnecessary lights and appliances to prevent overloaded circuits when power is restored.
- Keep your car tank at least half full. Gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
- Have a supply of water in the house. FEMA recommends keeping a three-day supply of water available in case clean water is not available. Visit gov/water for recommendations.
During a Power Outage
Staying Safe Indoors
- Use flashlights in the dark, not candles.
- Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights may be out and roads may be congested.
- If you are using a generator be sure you understand the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to use generators safely.
If you Must Leave
- Be sure to leave out extra food and water for your pets in case you are delayed in returning home – or be sure that a neighbor has access to your home to feed them if necessary.
- Be sure to take warm clothes, boots and gloves and a blanket in the event that you become stuck in your vehicle.
- Be sure to take a day or two supplies of any prescription medication that you might need if you are delayed in returning home.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. 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.
- First use perishable food from the refrigerator. Perishables should have a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) or below to be safe to eat. Then use food from the freezer.
- Use your non-perishable foods and staples after using food from the refrigerator and freezer.
- If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
- Keep food in a dry, cool spot and keep it covered at all times.
- Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.
- Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.
- Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.
After a Power Outage
Staying Safe After a Power Outage
- If electrical power lines are down, don’t touch them. Keep your family and pets away. Report downed lines to your utility company.
Throw Out Unsafe Food
- Throw away any food (particularly meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that has been exposed to temperatures higher than 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
- Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, bacteria causing food-borne illnesses can start growing quickly. Some types of bacteria produce toxins that cannot be destroyed by cooking.
- If you are not sure food is cold enough, take its temperature with a food thermometer.
- If food in the freezer is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.