March 2-8 is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, and as we move into that time of year when the weather can have a dramatic impact on our lives and cause major power interruptions, it’s good to review the ways you can minimize the inconvenience and maintain maximum safety for you and your family.
- Keep a battery-powered radio and a flashlight on hand where you can find them in the dark.
- Keep a plentiful supply of fresh batteries available.
In the event of a power outage, take the following precautionary measures:
- Turn off major appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, computers, air conditioners, heat pumps and televisions. If these appliances all begin operating simultaneously after power is restored, your home’s fuses could blow or circuit breakers could trip. It is also possible to do damage to your motors if they all start at the same time.
- Fill a tub with water as well as several large bottles or pots. A major power outage could affect the municipal water treatment and pumping facility, and taint an entire community’s water supply for days.
- A fully-loaded freezer can keep food cold for 36 to 48 hours if the door remains closed. Covering your freezer and refrigerator with a heavy quilt or blanket can also help maintain the interior temperatures. Refrigerated foods spoil faster and may only be safe if used within a matter of hours. When in doubt, throw questionable foods away!
- If you see any fallen electrical wires, assume they are live and stay away. Touching a vehicle, fence, person or water in contact with a downed power line is very dangerous.
Review these tips with all of your family members, because being prepared is the best way to stay safe in the aftermath of a storm.