National Preparedness Month: Power Outage Tips
What is a power outage?
A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. A power outage may:
- Disrupt communications, water, and transportation.
- Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services.
- Cause food spoilage and water contamination.
- Prevent use of medical devices.
- Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer.
- Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
- Maintain food supplies that do not require refrigeration.
- 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.
- Do not use a gas stove to heat your home.
- Check on your neighbors. Older adults and young children are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures.
- If safe, go to a community location with power if heat or cold is extreme.
- Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can cause damage.
Be Safe AFTER
- 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. If a life depends on the refrigerated drugs, consult a doctor or pharmacist and use medicine only until a new supply is available.
Your friends here at SERVPRO of Brookhaven, McComb & Columbia wants you to be prepared for this hurricane season. Power outages can be costly, but hopefully these tips will help prepare and instruct you during unpredictable situations.