Outage Preparation

 

Things to do before the storm

  • Store away some bottled water. This will be handy if you are on a well that runs off your electric service.
     
  • Keep on hand extra flashlights and a battery-powered radio. Also store some extra batteries for the radio and flashlights. Candles are another item to have on hand.
     
  • Have a good supply of nonperishable food, such as canned goods, powdered milk, dry cereal, and dried fruits.
     
  • Plan for an alternate place to stay. Perhaps there is a relative or friend that may not be affected by a storm the way you would be.
     
  • If you think you might ride out the storm, store away some blankets in case your heat is not working during the outage.
     

Things to do during the storm

  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed while the power is out. The food in your freezer will stay frozen 24 hours if the door remains closed.
     
  • If you see fallen power lines or poles, stay away from them. Let the professional crews from the Co-op repair them.
     
  • Call the Co-op to report your outage. Don’t assume someone else will call.
     
  • If you can go to a friend’s or relative’s home that has power, go.

 

 

Emergency Storm Kit
If a power outage strikes at 4 a.m., you do not want to stumble around in the dark with a flashlight trying to pack a bag.  Instead, pack some clothes and personal items now and, since you may not know how long a power outage will last, pack for at least a couple of days. Remember to pack personal hygiene items such as soap, shampoo, a toothbrush and toothpaste. Include medicines and vitamins. Don't forget underwear and socks! 

Pack an Emergency Bag
Buy emergency supplies before an emergency happens. Many power outages are short-lived, but some may last days. Here are some things to consider for a long-term outage. Stock up on:

  • Multiple flashlights w/batteries
  • Battery-powered space heater.
  • Flashlights and extra batteries.
  • Canned goods and dry food mixes. Check a camping store for food supplies.
  • Water and juices.
  • Hand tools such as hammer, screwdriver and wood saw.
  • Seasoned firewood.
  • Water repellent tarps.
  • Extra blankets.
  • Paper plates, cups and plastic utensils.
  • First-aid kit
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Extension cords, long enough to reach your neighbor's house.

 

 

Refrigerated Food Safety
Refrigerated food must be kept at temperatures of 40 degrees to avoid spoiling. Do not taste food to figure out if it's safe to eat.

  • A closed refrigerator will keep food safe for about four hours.
  • A closed freezer will maintain food quality for about 48 hours if full, 24 hours if half full.
  • 50 pounds of dry ice will keep a freezer cold for two days.

If your power outage lasts longer than four to eight hours, discard the following items:

  • Eggs
  • Mayonnaise
  • Leftovers
  • Milk products (except butter)
  • Fresh meats, poultry and seafood
  • Soft cheeses, low-fat cheese and shredded cheese
  • Creamy-based dressings, gravy and spaghetti sauce

After an extended power outage, discard all previously frozen products except breads, nuts, hard cheeses, fruit juices.
Tip: Use Mother Nature to your to your advantage during the winter outage and gather accumulated snow to protect your refrigerated foods.

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